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Three years post-Tsunami: long-term effects of trauma in children aged 7-15 - a culture-sensitive approach (posttsunami)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Tsunami disaster ranks as the most severe natural disaster ever recorded in terms of the number of people who were directly affected. In the worst hit part of India, the Southern state Tamil Nadu, records show that 1,744 children under the age of 18 were orphaned and 1,450 lost one parent. Few studies exist which investigate the long-term effects of trauma on children's and caregivers' well-being in developing countries. The aim of this project is to assess the three years post-event mental health status of children and caregivers from this region. The project will use a beneficiary-oriented approach and will focus to culture- and gender-sensitive issues. Participatory research techniques, including adult as well as child key informants, will be used to identify indicators of children's and caregivers' well-being. Based on the developed indicators, interview guidelines for the caregivers will be formulated. Symptoms will be collected via questionnaires conducted in form of oral interviews using the following standards: The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), the Children's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI) and the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R). Tsunami-affected caregivers and children will be recruited from SOS Children's Village in Pondicherry and SOS Relief Programmes in Nagapatinam for whom specifically these interventions were set up. The psychosocial guidance, which will be developed upon the collected data, will focus to the strengthening of resilience. The guidance will be developed by following a procedural method and is therefore applicable to different cultures taking also gender issues into account. In particular, this guidance will develop a culture-sensitive measure for children's and caregivers' well-being in the aftermath of disasters and hence of great value also to Western cultures such as the EU countries due to the growing cultural diversity in European cities.
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