“It is worth hanging in there” : Psychotherapeutic experiences shaping future motivation for outpatient psychotherapy with refugee clients in Germany

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BMC Psychiatry. Springer. 2023, 23(1), 503. eISSN 1471-244X. Available under: doi: 10.1186/s12888-023-05004-3
Zusammenfassung

Background:
A high prevalence of mental disorders in refugees contrasts with a low rate of treatment and limited access to health care services. In addition to pre-, peri- and post-migration stress, language, cultural barriers together with lack of information about cost reimbursement, and access to German (mental) health care institutions are discussed as barriers to use of available services. Such barriers together with insufficient experience of treating traumatized refugee clients may lower therapists’ motivation and facilities to accept refugee clients. A model project called “Fearless” trained, and supervised therapists, translators, and peer counsellors to reduce these barriers and increase therapists’ motivation and engagement in future treatment of refugees.

Methods:
From a total 14 therapists participating in the project N  = 13 were available for semi-structured interviews. The interviews were scheduled during or after their outpatient psychotherapy of refugee clients and lasted one hour on average. Based on qualitative assessment strategies, open questions addressed the therapists’ experience of challenges, enrichments, and motivation throughout the therapy. Therapists’ responses were analyzed using content structuring qualitative content analysis.

Results:
Three major challenges modulated therapists’ future motivation for treating refugee clients: specific bureaucratic efforts (e.g., therapy application), organizational difficulties (e.g., scheduling appointments), and clients’ motivation (e.g., adherence, reliability). Still, most interviewed therapists ( n  = 12) evaluated the therapy as enriching and expressed their motivation to accept refugee clients in the future ( n  = 10).

Conclusion:
Results recommend the reduction of bureaucratic effort (e.g., regular health insurance cover for all refugees) and implementation of organizational support (e.g., peer counsellors) in support of therapists’ motivation for future treatment of refugee clients. Further structural support e.g., with organizing and financing professional translators and referring refugee clients to psychotherapists should be deployed nationwide. We recommend the training in, and supervision of, the treatment of refugee clients as helpful additional modules in psychotherapy training curricula to raise therapists’ motivation to work with refugee clients.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
150 Psychologie
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Refugees, Mental health, Psychotherapy, Therapists, Qualitative research, Content analysis, Challenges, Health care, Germany
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ISO 690POTTER, Flurina, Marlene ZEHB, Katalin DOHRMANN, Veronika MÜLLER-BAMOUH, Brigitte ROCKSTROH, Anselm CROMBACH, 2023. “It is worth hanging in there” : Psychotherapeutic experiences shaping future motivation for outpatient psychotherapy with refugee clients in Germany. In: BMC Psychiatry. Springer. 2023, 23(1), 503. eISSN 1471-244X. Available under: doi: 10.1186/s12888-023-05004-3
BibTex
@article{Potter2023-07-12worth-67480,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1186/s12888-023-05004-3},
  title={“It is worth hanging in there” : Psychotherapeutic experiences shaping future motivation for outpatient psychotherapy with refugee clients in Germany},
  number={1},
  volume={23},
  journal={BMC Psychiatry},
  author={Potter, Flurina and Zehb, Marlene and Dohrmann, Katalin and Müller-Bamouh, Veronika and Rockstroh, Brigitte and Crombach, Anselm},
  note={Article Number: 503}
}
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    <dc:contributor>Dohrmann, Katalin</dc:contributor>
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    <dcterms:abstract>Background:          
A high prevalence of mental disorders in refugees contrasts with a low rate of treatment and limited access to health care services. In addition to pre-, peri- and post-migration stress, language, cultural barriers together with lack of information about cost reimbursement, and access to German (mental) health care institutions are discussed as barriers to use of available services. Such barriers together with insufficient experience of treating traumatized refugee clients may lower therapists’ motivation and facilities to accept refugee clients. A model project called “Fearless” trained, and supervised therapists, translators, and peer counsellors to reduce these barriers and increase therapists’ motivation and engagement in future treatment of refugees.                  

Methods:          
From a total 14 therapists participating in the project N  = 13 were available for semi-structured interviews. The interviews were scheduled during or after their outpatient psychotherapy of refugee clients and lasted one hour on average. Based on qualitative assessment strategies, open questions addressed the therapists’ experience of challenges, enrichments, and motivation throughout the therapy. Therapists’ responses were analyzed using content structuring qualitative content analysis.                  

Results:          
Three major challenges modulated therapists’ future motivation for treating refugee clients: specific bureaucratic efforts (e.g., therapy application), organizational difficulties (e.g., scheduling appointments), and clients’ motivation (e.g., adherence, reliability). Still, most interviewed therapists ( n  = 12) evaluated the therapy as enriching and expressed their motivation to accept refugee clients in the future ( n  = 10).                  

Conclusion:          
Results recommend the reduction of bureaucratic effort (e.g., regular health insurance cover for all refugees) and implementation of organizational support (e.g., peer counsellors) in support of therapists’ motivation for future treatment of refugee clients. Further structural support e.g., with organizing and financing professional translators and referring refugee clients to psychotherapists should be deployed nationwide. We recommend the training in, and supervision of, the treatment of refugee clients as helpful additional modules in psychotherapy training curricula to raise therapists’ motivation to work with refugee clients.</dcterms:abstract>
    <dc:contributor>Rockstroh, Brigitte</dc:contributor>
    <dc:creator>Dohrmann, Katalin</dc:creator>
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