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Minerva Psychiatry 2022 March;63(1):1-10

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6612.21.02158-0


language: English

Trajectories of mental health symptoms of armed conflict victims in Colombia during a common elements’ treatment approach intervention

Diana M. MARTÍNEZ RUIZ 1, 2 , Andrés FANDIÑO-LOSADA 1, 2, Francisco J. BONILLA-ESCOBAR 1, 3, 4, Jennifer NESSIM 1, 5, María I. GUTIÉRREZ-MARTÍNEZ 1, 2

1 Cisalva Institute, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; 2 School of Public Health, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; 3 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 4 Science to Serve the Community, SCISCO Foundation/Fundación SCISCO, Cali, Colombia; 5 Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences, Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of analysis about mental health symptoms’ trajectories in interventions for violence survivors. An individualized Common Elements Treatment Approach was implemented in two Colombia’s Pacific cities (Buenaventura and Quibdó) with mixed outcomes. This study aims to identify trajectories of symptoms and trends in participants’ subgroups.
METHODS: Clinical Monitoring Data scores were calculated using the sum of context-validated symptoms’ scales for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mixed growth models identified mental health symptoms’ trajectories.
RESULTS: There were rapid improvements in Clinical Monitoring Data in Quibdó, and in Buenaventura the improvement was 69% rapid and 31% mild. One trajectory towards improvement was described in anxiety. Two symptoms’ trajectories were found in depression: 56% fast improvement and 44% slight deterioration. Three trajectories were identified in post-traumatic stress disorder: two with improvement (62.5% fast and 15.6% slight) and another with a slight increase in symptoms (1.9%).
CONCLUSIONS: A heterogeneous mix of symptom trajectories exists in conflict survivors in the Colombian Pacific region. Our results are relevant for the monitoring and personalizing of mental health therapies for violence survivors, and to assess the efficacy of the provided treatments.

KEY WORDS: Cognitive behavioral therapy; Armed conflicts; African continental ancestry group; Stress disorders, post-traumatic; Depression; Anxiety

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