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Table of Contents
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

From the editor: welcome to open access!


Date of Web Publication28-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_11_18

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How to cite this article:
Tankink M. From the editor: welcome to open access!. Intervention 2018;16:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Tankink M. From the editor: welcome to open access!. Intervention [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 7];16:1-2. Available from: http://www.interventionjournal.org//text.asp?2018/16/1/1/228776

We are very proud to present the very first open access issue of Intervention, issue 16.1.

It has taken many years, but we have finally achieved our long-held goal of becoming an open access journal, thereby ensuring our articles, field reports and personal reflections are more accessible, with less restrictions for people in the field and overall.

As part of this transition, Intervention has also changed to an online format with a different layout, chosen for readability and usability, as we will now only be available online. Articles ready between publication dates, will be published on the website as Ahead of Print articles and, thus, will be accessible the moment they are ready. We would very much like to hear from our readers what they think about our new format, or any other issues they would like to write to us about, like the Letter to the Editor that opens this issue.

However, before we dive into the issue, we have yet more changes to announce. Sadly, Relinde Reiffers, our production manager has left after five years of excellent and hard work on our behalf. All of us at Intervention are very grateful for her commitment. Our new project manager, Sadaf Kaykha, has hit the ground running and has already been inspiring the team with her enormous drive and energy. Also, joining the Intervention team is new assistant editor, Melissa Harper Shehadeh. The whole team welcomes them both and I am personally very excited to be working with them.

As much as we celebrate the new, we also celebrate the essential and enduring threads that continue to make Intervention a unique journal of note. Our most excellent, global Editorial Board and our production editor, Mindy Ran, continue to support the production of the journal to fulfil our aims and goals.

The most important enduring thread of course, the focus of our content, has not changed. Intervention will still include not only articles, but also our distinctive field reports and personal reflections, and still publish three times a year (March, July and November). We will also continue with our highlighted focus on a wide variety of topics within our Special sections and Special issues. Watch out for the first Special Section of the year in Issue 16.2!

The entire team hopes that Intervention will continue to develop as a unique voice in the field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings as it continues to link the worlds of humanitarian practitioners, academic researchers and humanitarian policy makers.

Now, onto this issue, where we present our usual varied palette of topics. Beginning the main content of this new-look issue is a report of quantitative multilevel research on psychosocial support after a natural disaster. Following this, the issue includes articles on the long-term effects of genocide; inequality and inattention to gender issues within humanitarian settings; support of faith leaders; staff care; mainstreaming mental health and psychosocial support in other settings and; the effects of the boycott policy on mental health in Iraq.

  Articles Top

Tim R. Wind & Ivan H. Komproe describe their main findings from a quantitative research programme, in which they applied two advanced statistical techniques on data collected following two flood disasters. Through multilevel research they found that individual psychosocial resources are more effective if people can rely on a trustworthy and effective social community. Their findings strongly suggest that community interventions promoting social context and individual interventions not only share this objective, but also positively impact mental health via the same individual mechanisms. This article presents important research in finding evidence for specific interventions that work, but importantly also includes the essential mechanisms behind the findings.

Emmanuel Sarabwe, Annemiek Richters & Marianne Vysma explore the ongoing impact of the genocide in Rwanda on marital relationships in their article. They show that genocide related factors generate relational trauma that impacts the everyday lives of spouses, decades after the original traumatic event(s) occurred. The specific aspects found were unknown or relatively rare before the genocide. These problems are not only visible within marriages, but as families are the fundamental source of identity formation for the next generation, a significant portion of young people are growing up in a situation of disturbed family functioning as a result of the genocide and its aftermath. The need for interventions that focus on this issue will therefore be significant for many years to come.

William Affleck, Ann Selvadurai & Lindsey Sikora present a scoping review on gender bias in refugee and humanitarian research on refugee trauma. Findings demonstrate that, since 1988, increased attention has been paid to the experience of girls and women and that 95% of gender focused refugee research addressed women’s issues, while only 5% addressed the experience of refugee boys and men. They explore the possible explanations for this gap and discusses its consequences for both research and clinical practice. It seems that we, in our sector, fail to also examine men’s experience of disaster and that this oversight is ethically and practically problematic. Sex data and gender analysis need to be incorporated into evidence based practice for all survivors of disaster, and this requires research on the health and social issues on both females and males within gender based research.

Carola Eyber, Blessings Kachale, Tracy Shields & Alastair Ager examine local faith leaders and their spouses’ involvement in child protection issues in Malawi. They show that faith leaders can be valuable, locally embedded partners for reinforcing child protection concerns within communities. Faith leaders’ understanding of the sociocultural factors provides them with the opportunity of speaking about child protection concerns from an insider’s perspective. The form and influence of their protection work varied widely, and was significantly impacted by their varied status and capacities, and the cooperation with formal child protection mechanisms within government and civil society structures.

Sarilee Kahn evaluates a crisis response intervention with expatriate aid workers in Afghanistan after four aid workers of their team were killed by Taliban forces in 2008. The evaluation shows that clear security protocols, crisis simulation preparedness trainings, team cohesiveness, strong leadership and staff mobilisation, as well as psychological support and support from managers, can all contribute to staff resilience in high stress environments. The article also makes recommendations to the international nongovernmental organisation (INGO) community.

  Field reports Top

Elisabetta Dozio, Cécile Bizouerne, Marion Feldman & Marie Rose Moro discuss in their field report the operational and ethical challenges of applied psychosocial research in humanitarian emergency settings. Mental health and psychosocial support research within a broader perspective of challenges are also strongly linked to difficulties of access to beneficiaries, security and protection issues and competence of staff. The authors describe the case of the INGO Action Contre la Faim. Although the ethical challenges are huge, they plead the case for prioritising operational research and give recommendations for doing so in a responsible manner, highlighting issues like ensuring participation of beneficiaries.

Maha Sulaiman Younis & Azhar Madlom Aswad show in their field report how war and economic sanctions in Iraq, from 1990 to 2003, have affected the mental health system in the country. Mental health services were comparatively successful during the early 1970s, but since the Iran/Iraq war began in the 1980s, government funding has been significantly reduced. Additionally, the country’s economic collapse also contributed to shortage of medications and emigration of many experienced psychiatrists. This has disrupted the practice of psychiatry and preventing further development of a mental health care system. At the same time, there was a growing need for psychiatric services as a result of war trauma. The authors identified a strong need for documentation and international dissemination of the effects that international sanctions can have on mental health care systems, services and patients.

Finally, this issue ends with two interesting book reviews. First, Devon E. Hinton reviews Ventevogel’s thesis Borderlands of Mental Health: Explorations in Medical Anthropology, Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Health Systems Research in Afghanistan and Burundi, and the second review by Andrew M. Jefferson on Pérez-Sales’ Psychological Torture. Definition, Evaluation and Measurement.

I wish you much reading pleasure and hope that the papers will contribute to new ideas and better practices, especially since the move to our new online and open access format.


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