Systematic Review of Evidence and Treatment Approaches: Psychosocial and Mental Health Care for Children in War



Background:  There is a growing body of literature on interventions addressing psychosocial wellbeing and mental health of children affected by violence in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods:  This systematic review of PubMed, PsychINFO, and PILOTS identified 500 publications (1991–2008) on interventions.

Results:  Sixty-six publications (12 treatment outcome studies and 54 intervention descriptions, covering a range of treatment modalities) met inclusion criteria. Most interventions are evaluated positively, while some studies lack evidence for efficacy and effectiveness.

Conclusion:  Scarcity of rigorous studies, diversity of interventions, and mixed results of evaluations demonstrate a need to identify evidence-based interventions. The literature presents consensus on a number of treatment-related issues, yet the application remains limited across interventions.