Qualitative accounts from Syrian mental health professionals: shared realities in the context of conflict and forced displacement.
BMJ Open. 2020 May 18;10(5):e034291
Authors: Hamid A, Scior K, Williams ACC
OBJECTIVES: To explore the impact of the provision of care of forcibly displaced Syrian mental health professionals (MHPs) to Syrian clients in the community given shared experiences and backgrounds with clients.
DESIGN: A qualitative study using thematic analysis of in-depth semistructured interviews to explore shared realities, self-disclosure and the impact of providing therapy.
SETTING: Syrian MHPs operating in Gaziantep and Istanbul, Turkey, were interviewed.
PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen forcibly displaced Syrian MHPs (eight male, eight female) aged between 24 and 54 years (M=35, SD=8.3) who provided care to the displaced Syrian community in Turkey.
RESULTS: All workers described having a shared reality with their clients as helpful in therapy and a smaller proportion described it as a vulnerability. All described their work with Syrian clients as fulfilling and most described it as distressing. Participants referred to self-care,supervision, peer-support and personal therapy as a means to cope.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first insight into the shared experiences of the ongoing trauma, loss and violations resulting from the ongoing Syrian conflict from the perspective of Syrian MHPs, adding to the literature of the professional issues and ethical duty to protect health workers in conflict settings.
PMID: 32430449 [PubMed – in process]