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Cultural Adaptation of Scalable Psychological Interventions: A New Conceptual Framework


Heim, Eva Maria; Kohrt, Brandon A (2019). Cultural Adaptation of Scalable Psychological Interventions: A New Conceptual Framework. Clinical Psychology in Europe, 1(4):e37679.

Abstract

Background: The worldwide mental health treatment gap calls for scaling-up psychological interventions, which requires effective implementation in diverse cultural settings. Evidence from the field of global mental health and cultural clinical psychology indicates cultural variation in how symptoms of common mental disorders are expressed, and how culturally diverse groups explain the emergence of such symptoms. An increasing number of studies have examined to what extent cultural adaptation enhances the acceptability and effectiveness of psychological interventions among culturally diverse groups. To date, this evidence is inconclusive, and there is a lack of studies that dismantle the multiple types of modifications involved in cultural adaptation.
Method: Based on empirical evidence from ethnopsychological studies, cultural adaptation research, and psychotherapy research, the present paper offers a new conceptual framework for cultural adaptation that lays the groundwork for future empirical research.
Results: The cultural adaptation framework encompasses three elements: i) cultural concepts of distress; ii) treatment components; and iii) treatment delivery. These three elements have been discussed in literature but rarely tested in methodologically rigorous studies. Innovative research designs are needed to empirically test the relevance of these adaptation elements, to better understand the substantial modifications that enhance acceptability and effectiveness of psychological interventions.
Conclusion: Using a theory-driven approach and innovative experimental designs, research on cultural adaptation has the potential not only to make psychological treatments more accessible for culturally adverse groups, but also to further advance empirical research on the basic question about the “key ingredients” of psychotherapy.

Abstract

Background: The worldwide mental health treatment gap calls for scaling-up psychological interventions, which requires effective implementation in diverse cultural settings. Evidence from the field of global mental health and cultural clinical psychology indicates cultural variation in how symptoms of common mental disorders are expressed, and how culturally diverse groups explain the emergence of such symptoms. An increasing number of studies have examined to what extent cultural adaptation enhances the acceptability and effectiveness of psychological interventions among culturally diverse groups. To date, this evidence is inconclusive, and there is a lack of studies that dismantle the multiple types of modifications involved in cultural adaptation.
Method: Based on empirical evidence from ethnopsychological studies, cultural adaptation research, and psychotherapy research, the present paper offers a new conceptual framework for cultural adaptation that lays the groundwork for future empirical research.
Results: The cultural adaptation framework encompasses three elements: i) cultural concepts of distress; ii) treatment components; and iii) treatment delivery. These three elements have been discussed in literature but rarely tested in methodologically rigorous studies. Innovative research designs are needed to empirically test the relevance of these adaptation elements, to better understand the substantial modifications that enhance acceptability and effectiveness of psychological interventions.
Conclusion: Using a theory-driven approach and innovative experimental designs, research on cultural adaptation has the potential not only to make psychological treatments more accessible for culturally adverse groups, but also to further advance empirical research on the basic question about the “key ingredients” of psychotherapy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:December 2019
Deposited On:20 Jan 2020 14:38
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:03
Publisher:PsychOpen
ISSN:2625-3410
OA Status:Gold
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.32872/cpe.v1i4.37679
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID10001C_169780
  • : Project TitleThe effect of a culturally adapted illness explanatory model on usability and effectiveness of an Internet-based, transdiagnostic self-help programm for the treatment of common mental disorders among Kosovar Albanian immigrants in Switzerland
  • : FunderUS National Institute of Mental Health
  • : Grant IDK01MH104310, R21MH11128
  • : Project Title

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