Adolescent Bereavement Initiative in the Free State, South Africa
|The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.|
|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02368808|
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 23, 2015
Last Update Posted : March 13, 2017
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Grief Bereavement||Behavioral: Abangane Support Group||Not Applicable|
The HIV/AIDS epidemic, accidental injuries and violence have gradually increased the mortality rate among prime age adults in South Africa since 1997 (Statistics South Africa, 2006) leading to an increase in the number of children experiencing bereavement. Of the approximately four million orphans in South Africa in 2012, over half (62.5%) are due to parental death from AIDS (UNICEF, 2013). Studies have found that parental loss in childhood and adolescence is associated with a range of immediate and later life outcomes including problems at school, depression, criminality, early sexual activity, and unemployment (Aynsley-Green, 2012). However, support counselling for bereaved children and adolescents is virtually nonexistent in South Africa (Collingwood, 2014) and children are often not encouraged to express grief or participate in mourning rituals for the deceased. A randomized controlled trial of AIDS orphans in Uganda found that school-based peer support groups reduced the symptoms of anxiety, depression and anger compared to a control group that did not participate in the peer support groups (Kumakech, 2009). This base of evidence demonstrates both the unmet need and potential impact of a bereavement initiative that will be offered by CWBFN & CLFS in Free State. This research will contribute to the evidence base for effective programming for bereaved adolescents in South Africa as well as other high HIV prevalence populations.
The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of time-limited adolescent grief counseling peer groups in improving the psychosocial wellbeing of bereaved female adolescents. Results from the study will be used to develop evidence-based youth bereavement counselling programs to be implemented in additional areas of South Africa. The results will be presented to South African OVC social service organizations as well as submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals for wider dissemination.
(Note that the original study design included a family component/sessions for caregivers that was not able to be realized by the program implementers)
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Actual Enrollment :||843 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Parallel Assignment|
|Masking:||None (Open Label)|
|Official Title:||Coping With Loss: A Bereavement Initiative for Adolescent Girls in the Free State, South Africa|
|Study Start Date :||January 2015|
|Actual Primary Completion Date :||November 2015|
|Actual Study Completion Date :||November 2015|
Experimental: Abangane Support Group
Bereavement support group for adolescents
Behavioral: Abangane Support Group
The Abangane support group program consists of 8 sessions for bereaved adolescents with standardized activities and discussion content based the Khululeka Grief Support Program in Cape Town, South Africa. The materials include a resource book that provides training and referral agencies for grief group facilitators as well as exercises and creative activities designed to stimulate group discussions that will help adolescents to deal with loss and grief.
No Intervention: Wait List
Wait-listed adolescents will be able to participate in Abangane at the close of the study.
- Change in Grief Intensity [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Grief intensity, including general grief, intrusive thoughts and prolonged grief, is assessed through adolescent self-report of items from three standardized scales (1) Core Bereavement Items (CBI) five-item grief subscale (Burnett et al, 1997); (2) Intrusive Grief Thoughts Scale (IGTS) (ASU Program for Prevention Research, 1999); and the (3) Inventory of Complicated Grief -Revised for Children (ICG-RC) six-item screening tool (Melhem, Porta, Payne & Brent, 2013).
- Change in Mental Health [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Depressive symptomology will be assessed through adolescent self-report of the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) (Weissman 1980, Faulstich 1986). Items assess the frequency of symptoms of depression including feelings of happiness, appetite, self-esteem, energy levels, sleep patterns, etc. Adolescent behaviour is assessed using the Brief Problem Monitor-Parent Form (BPM-P) (Achenbach 2011). BPM-P is a 19-item subset of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) that captures problem behaviour, including internalizing and externalizing behaviour in children ages 6-18. Caregivers report on adolescent behaviour over the past four weeks.
- Change in Caregiver-Adolescent Interactions [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Caregiver-Adolescent interactions are assessed through adolescent report of connectedness to caregiver and caregiver report of positive parenting practices, such as discipline, supervision, and supportiveness. Connectedness to Caregiver is assessed using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (Amsden & Greenberg, 1987). Positive parenting, discipline and supervision were measured using the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire short form (APQ-9) (Elgar et al). Harsh punishment is assessed through both caregiver and adolescent report using an adapted version of the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale (CTSPC)'s psychological aggression and physical assault subscales (Straus et al., 1998). Supportiveness was measured with The Parent Behavior Inventory (PBI)'s Supportive/Engaged subscale, which measures parental affect towards the adolescent in their care (Lovejoy, Weis, O'hare & Rubin, 1999).
- Change in Social Support [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Social Support is assessed through items focused on social support received in dealing with the bereavement itself, basic social support, and emotional social support. Social support for coping with bereavement was measured using self-generated items, such as You can discuss your feelings about this loss with your family. Emotional social support is measured with the giving and receiving emotional support subscales of the 2-Way Social Support Scale (Shakespeare-Finch & Obst, 2011). Basic social support consists of four items from the MEASURE evaluation (Measure Evaluation, 2014).
- Change in Academic Competence [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Academic competence is assessed through adolescent self-report of academic self-efficacy, motivation and attendance. Academic self-efficacy is based on the academic self-efficacy subscale of the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (SEQ-C) (Muris, 2001) and assesses perceived performance in school including success in paying attention, passing tests, and completing homework. Academic motivation assesses the perceived importance of education and efforts to do well in school. Attendance is measured with one self-generated item which asks about absenteeism in the seven days prior to the survey, not including school holidays.
- Change in Resilience [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2 months post-intervention ]Resilience is assessed through positive appraisal coping abilities, including perceived coping, personal growth, emotional regulation and future expectations. Perceived coping is assessed with a self-generated scale based on items from the Grief Evaluation Measure (GEM) (Jordan & Baker, 2005). Personal growth as a result of the loss is assessed using the personal growth subscale of the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist (Hogan, Greenfield & Schmidt, 2001). Emotional regulation is based on the adolescent's emotional self-efficacy, or perceived ability to regulate feelings and emotions, and is assessed with the emotional self-efficacy subscale of the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (SEQ-C) (Muris, 2001). Future expectations, or hopes for the future, is based on items from a self-generated scale used in a previous study of OVC in South Africa by the authors (Thurman, 2011) and an adapted subscale of the Social and Health Assessment (SAHA) (Ruchkin 2004).
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02368808
|Principal Investigator:||Tonya R Thurman, MPH, PhD||Tulane University School of Social Work|