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Group interpersonal therapy reduces depression in adolescent survivors of war

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Paul Bolton

Paul Bolton, MBBS, Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N Wolfe Street, Room E8646, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA; pbolton@jhsph.edu

QUESTION

Question:

How effective are interventions for depression symptoms in displaced adolescent survivors of war in northern Uganda?

Patients:

314 adolescents (14–17 years old) of the Acholi ethnic group living in camps for internally displaced persons, who had depression-like syndromes, defined using the Acholi Psychosocial Assessment Instrument (APAI; a locally defined and validated instrument assessing severity of 35 symptoms). For inclusion, adolescents had to score at least 32 on the APAI (score range 0–105, higher score indicates greater severity of symptoms), although 14 adolescents with scores between 28 and 31 were included to achieve target sample size, and report some difficulties in function on a gender-specific local function measure. Main exclusion criteria: severe suicidal ideation or disability preventing interview.

Setting:

Two camps for internally displaced persons in …

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