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Mental health assessments in refugees and asylum seekers: evaluation of a tablet-assisted screening software


Morina, Naser; Ewers, Simon Manuel; Passardi, Sandra; Schnyder, Ulrich; Knaevelsrud, Christine; Müller, Julia; Bryant, Richard A; Nickerson, Angela; Schick, Matthis (2017). Mental health assessments in refugees and asylum seekers: evaluation of a tablet-assisted screening software. Conflict and Health:11:18.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mental health problems resulting from persecution and forced migration are very common among refugees and asylum seekers and evolve into a major public health challenge in hosting societies. Language barriers often prevent timely access to appropriate health care, leading to chronic trajectories and abortive social integration. Tools for multilingual screening and assessment could be of great benefit for this particularly vulnerable population as well as for policy makers. This study aimed at testing the reliability, feasibility and usability of the Multi-Adaptive Psychological Screening Software (MAPSS), a newly developed Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview Software (ACASI) for touchscreen devices, for screening purposes in a clinical setting.
METHODS: In a randomized cross-over design including both MAPSS and paper-pencil clinician-administered interviews, 30 treatment-seeking refugees completed clinical measures and a feasibility questionnaire to rate the user interface of MAPSS. Five professionals performed given tasks in MAPSS and completed usability questionnaires for the administration interface.
RESULTS: Results showed no differences between the two assessment modalities with regard to symptom scores. The findings suggest good feasibility and usability of MAPSS in traumatized refugees. The administration via MAPSS was significantly shorter than the paper-pencil interview.
CONCLUSION: MAPSS may be a cost-effective, flexible and valid alternative to interpreter-based psychometric screening and assessment.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mental health problems resulting from persecution and forced migration are very common among refugees and asylum seekers and evolve into a major public health challenge in hosting societies. Language barriers often prevent timely access to appropriate health care, leading to chronic trajectories and abortive social integration. Tools for multilingual screening and assessment could be of great benefit for this particularly vulnerable population as well as for policy makers. This study aimed at testing the reliability, feasibility and usability of the Multi-Adaptive Psychological Screening Software (MAPSS), a newly developed Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview Software (ACASI) for touchscreen devices, for screening purposes in a clinical setting.
METHODS: In a randomized cross-over design including both MAPSS and paper-pencil clinician-administered interviews, 30 treatment-seeking refugees completed clinical measures and a feasibility questionnaire to rate the user interface of MAPSS. Five professionals performed given tasks in MAPSS and completed usability questionnaires for the administration interface.
RESULTS: Results showed no differences between the two assessment modalities with regard to symptom scores. The findings suggest good feasibility and usability of MAPSS in traumatized refugees. The administration via MAPSS was significantly shorter than the paper-pencil interview.
CONCLUSION: MAPSS may be a cost-effective, flexible and valid alternative to interpreter-based psychometric screening and assessment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:ACASI; Clinical setting; Feasibility; Interview; Refugees; Screening; Usability
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:24 Oct 2017 14:21
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:00
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1752-1505
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-017-0120-2
PubMed ID:29026438

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