• Research priorities: Stigma and discrimination
  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Project no.: FP24\11
  • Budget: €136,780
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Status: Not yet started

Full project title:
Addressing Leprosy Trauma Using the Traumatic Stress Relief Programme: An exploratory Trial with Persons with Lived Experience in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Project coordination
Erq Ma’ed Media and Psychological Services

Bogazici University
All Africa Leprosy Rehabilitation and Training Centre Hospital (ALERT)
The Global Initiative for Stress and Trauma Treatment
The University of Manchester
The Leprosy Mission Ethiopia
The Leprosy Mission England and Wales

Aim: The study aims to expand on our understanding of mental health difficulties of persons affected by leprosy and extend the interventions available for them. A Traumatic Stress Relief (TSR) programme will be used, which is known to reduce the trauma treatment gap and make feasible, acceptable, safe, early trauma stress relief available in LMICs.

Project summary
Mental health difficulties are a significant public health concern in many countries. The treatment of mental health difficulties can be more complex when the individual is also going through physical difficulties such as leprosy. For example, people with leprosy are more at risk of experiencing multiple difficulties both physical and psychological.  As a result, these individuals cannot recover fully, especially among the low-income and socio-economically disadvantaged communities. However, it is essential that proposed treatments are shown to be cost-effective and accessible to all groups.

The proposed project aims to test the feasibility and acceptability of apeer delivered intervention “Traumatic Stress Relief (TSR)” programme for treating stressed people who are affected by leprosy in Ethiopia.

This research will be carried out in the principal areas with a high density of leprosy in Ethiopia. Research assistants will advertise and invite participants to take part and tell them all about the study. Posters will be also placed in local community groups, mosques,  churches and local stores to advertise the study to a wider audience. When participants join the study, they will be asked about their symptoms, how much depression and other psychosocial difficulties are interfering with their life and which health services, or other support services, they need to use. Furthermore, what people found helpful and unhelpful about the programme will be explored by interviews.

At the end of the research project the acceptability of the programme will be determined. The findings will be summarised in a delivery manual and, if found effective, this can be freely used by other centres who might wish to deliver the same package in their centres. Guidance will be also provided on the cultural adaptation process to allow the package to be adapted for other groups.