The impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programmes for populations affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol

Abstract

Humanitarian emergencies can impact the mental health and psychosocial well-being of local populations. Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) are one way of seeking to manage the consequences, reduce the negative impact and provide support to affected populations. We aim to review existing primary research examining the extent to which MHPSS impacts mental health and psychosocial well-being and if the effectiveness and delivery of MHPSS varies and affected by characteristics of populations (e.g. age, gender, individual risks) and/or contextual factors (e.g. types of disasters or humanitarian emergencies, culture, geographical locations).

We will conduct a mixed-methods systematic review. A scoping exercise to identify and review existing MHPSS systematic reviews is complete (October –November 2015). The findings from the scoping exercise are used to inform the scope of the systematic review, aiming to identify effective MHPSS and implementation in humanitarian emergencies. Outcome evaluation studies will be limited to experimental trials with control groups reporting outcomes for populations affected by humanitarian emergencies. Studies evaluating implementation of MHPSS will seek the perspectives of both programme providers and recipients to understand barriers and facilitators of implementing MPHSS in humanitarian contexts. Studies will be limited to those published in English from 1980 onwards. We will identify studies by conducting a bibliographic search of 12 databases. We will also draw on the grey literature by hand searching of more than 25 topic-specific websites and contact with experts in the field.

All studies will be data extracted and critically appraised using standardised and review specific coding tools. The coding will aim to capture: study aims and objectives, population characteristics, intervention components and implementation details, study methods, outcome data, and stakeholder perspective including on challenges, limitations, and recommendations. Methods of synthesis will include meta-analysis and thematic analysis. We will prepare ’summary of findings’ tables for the quantitative and qualitative syntheses.

We will aim to produce academic and policy relevant review products including a ‘plain language’ summary, an executive summary and technical review. To support dissemination activities we will focus on identifying and ensuring review outputs are made known and freely available to our key audiences.

Citation

Bangpan, M.; Lambert, F.; Chiumento, A.; Dickson, K. The impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programmes for populations affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol. Oxfam GB, Oxford, UK (2015) 68 pp. ISBN 978-0-85598-711-4

The impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programmes for populations affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol

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