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The Psychological and Social Trajectories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Receiving Support from Specialist Torture and Trauma Counselling Services in Australia.

The Psychological and Social Trajectories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Receiving Support from Specialist Torture and Trauma Counselling Services in Australia.

The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) agencies provide ‘multi-modal’ mental health interventions to address the complex array of psychological reactions and psychosocial stressors that refugees and asylum seekers present with. FASST clinicians report a diverse range of clinical outcomes where the well-being of some clients shows significant improvement, whereas others do poorly even after lengthy periods of assistance. Although FASST agencies assisted 17,771 survivors of torture and trauma in 2016-2017, the clinical outcomes of interventions provided have not been systematically documented. The current research will examine factors which might influence differing trajectories during and following treatment for this population.

AIMS:
• To document different psychosocial trajectories of refugees and asylum seekers receiving specialist torture and trauma
support services in Australia
• To examine the factors that differentiate recovery trajectories from trajectories with limited recovery outcomes

METHOD:
This is a pilot study, aiming for a future larger trajectory study, which will examine the feasibility and acceptability of clinician administered and self-report measures. Thirty participants will be recruited from STARTTS clinical counselling services and ten from Foundation House in Victoria

MEASURES:
Assessment will include a structured psychiatric diagnostic interview and self-report measures to assess factors that lead to divergent clinical outcomes.

ANALYSIS:
Mplus will be used to conduct latent growth mixed modelling in order to identify distinct psychological and social trajectories and the covariates which predict class membership.

OUTCOMES/CHALLENGES:
It is anticipated that the findings will enable service providers to adapt and develop the assistance they provide particularly with respect to enhancing interventions for individuals whose history and circumstances indicate a higher risk of poor outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:
Identifying predictors of poor clinical and social outcomes amongst survivors will help improve the capacity of FASSTT services to meet the needs of the communities we serve.

  • Startts, Fairfield, Australia, 2Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health,
  • The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia,
  • Foundation House Victoria, Melbourne, Australia,
  • St John of God Chair of Trauma and Mental Health University New
  • South Wales , Sydney, Australia