Browsing by Author "Gordon, Sarah"
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- ItemCommunity context and individual factors associated with arrests among young men in a South African township(Public Library of Science, 2019) Christodoulou, Joan; Stokes, Lynissa R.; Bantjes, Jason; Tomlinson, Mark; Stewart, Jackie; Rabie, Stephan; Gordon, Sarah; Mayekiso, Andile; Rotheram-Borus, Mary JaneBackground: In high-income countries, individual- and community-level factors are associated with increased contact with the criminal justice system. However, little is known about how these factors contribute to the risk of arrest in South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of arrests globally. We examine both individual- and community-level factors associated with arrests among young men living in the townships of Cape Town. Methods: Data were collected from a stratified community sample of 906 young men aged 18–29 years old living in 18 township neighborhoods. Communities with high and low rates of arrest were identified. Logistic regression models were used to assess which individual-level (such as substance use and mental health status) and community-level (such as infrastructure and presence of bars and gangs) factors predict arrests. Results: Significant predictors of arrests were substance use, gang activity, being older, more stressed, and less educated. Living in communities with better infrastructure and in more recently established communities populated by recent immigrants was associated with having a history of arrests. Conclusions: When considering both individual- and community-level factors, substance use and gang violence are the strongest predictors of arrests among young men in South Africa. Unexpectedly, communities with better infrastructure have higher arrest rates. Community programs are needed to combat substance use and gang activity as a pathway out of risk among South African young men.
- ItemImproving early childhood care and development, HIV-testing, treatment and support, and nutrition in Mokhotlong, Lesotho : study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial(BioMed Central, 2016-11-09) Tomlinson, Mark; Skeen, Sarah; Marlow, Marguerite; Cluver, Lucie; Cooper, Peter; Murray, Lynne; Mofokeng, Shoeshoe; Morley, Nathene; Makhetha, Moroesi; Gordon, Sarah; Esterhuizen, Tonya; Sherr, LorraineBackground: Since 1990, the lives of 48 million children under the age of 5 years have been saved because of increased investments in reducing child mortality. However, despite these unprecedented gains, 250 million children younger than 5 years in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) cannot meet their developmental potential due to poverty, poor health and nutrition, and lack of necessary stimulation and care. Lesotho has high levels of poverty, HIV, and malnutrition, all of which affect child development outcomes. There is a unique opportunity to address these complex issues through the widespread network of informal preschools in rural villages in the country, which provide a setting for inclusive, integrated Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and HIV and nutrition interventions. Methods: We are conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial in Mokhotlong district, Lesotho, to evaluate a newly developed community-based intervention program to integrate HIV-testing and treatment services, ECCD, and nutrition education for caregivers with children aged 1–5 years living in rural villages. Caregivers and their children are randomly assigned by village to intervention or control condition. We select, train, and supervise community health workers recruited to implement the intervention, which consists of nine group-based sessions with caregivers and children over 12 weeks (eight weekly sessions, and a ninth top-up session 1 month later), followed by a locally hosted community health outreach day event. Group-based sessions focus on using early dialogic book-sharing to promote cognitive development and caregiver-child interaction, health-related messages, including motivation for HIV-testing and treatment uptake for young children, and locally appropriate nutrition education. All children aged 1–5 years and their primary caregivers living in study villages are eligible for participation. Caregivers and their children will be interviewed and assessed at baseline, after completion of the intervention, and 12 months post intervention. Discussion: This study provides a unique opportunity to assess the potential of an integrated early childhood development intervention to prevent or mitigate developmental delays in children living in a context of extreme poverty and high HIV rates in rural Lesotho. This paper presents the intervention content and research protocol for the study.
- ItemInstructive roles and supportive relationships : client perspectives of their engagement with community health workers in a rural south African home visiting program(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2021-01-13) Laurenzi, Christina A.; Skeen, Sarah; Coetzee, Bronwyne J.; Notholi, Vuyolwethu; Gordon, Sarah; Chademana, Emma; Bishop, Julia; Tomlinson, MarkBackground: Community health worker (CHW) programs have been positioned as a way to meet the needs of those who experience marginalization and inequitable access to health care, and current global health narratives also emphasize their adaptable nature to meet growing health burdens in low-income settings. However, as CHW programs adopt more technical roles, the value of CHWs in building relationships with clients tends to be overlooked. More importantly, these programs are often reframed and redeployed without attending to the interests and needs of program clients themselves. We set out to gather perspectives of program and CHW engagement from clients of a maternal and child health program in rural South Africa. Methods: We conducted 26 interviews with pregnant or recently-delivered clients of the Enable Mentor Mother program between February–March 2018. After obtaining informed consent, a trained research assistant conducted all interviews in the clients’ home language, isiXhosa. Interviews, translated and transcribed into English, were organized and coded using ATLAS.ti software and thematically analyzed. Results: We found that clients’ home-based interactions with Mentor Mothers were generally positive, and that these engagements were characterized by two core themes, instructive roles and supportive relationships.. Instructive roles facilitated the transfer of knowledge and uptake of new information for behavior change. Relationships were developed within the home visit setting, but also extended beyond routine visits, especially when clients required further instrumental support. Clients further discussed a sense of agency gained through these interactions, even in cases where they chose not to, or were unable to, heed their Mentor Mother’s advice. Conclusions: These findings highlight the important roles that CHWs can assume in providing both instructive and supportive care to clients; as deepening relationships may be key for encouraging behavior change, these findings pinpoint the need to bolster training and support for CHWs in similar programs. They also emphasize the importance of integrating more channels for client feedback into existing programs, to ensure that clients’ voices are heard and accounted for in shaping ongoing engagement within the communities in which these programs operate.
- ItemPsychosocial interventions targeting mental health in pregnant adolescents and adolescent parents : a systematic review(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-05-14) Laurenzi, Christina A.; Gordon, Sarah; Abrahams, Nina; Du Toit, Stefani; Bradshaw, Melissa; Brand, Amanda; Melendez-Torres, G. J.; Tomlinson, Mark; Ross, David A.; Servili, Chiara; Carvajal-Aguirre, Liliana; Lai, Joanna; Dua, Tarun; Fleischmann, Alexandra; Skeen, SarahBackground: Pregnancy and parenthood are known to be high-risk times for mental health. However, less is known about the mental health of pregnant adolescents or adolescent parents. Despite the substantial literature on the risks associated with adolescent pregnancy, there is limited evidence on best practices for preventing poor mental health in this vulnerable group. This systematic review therefore aimed to identify whether psychosocial interventions can effectively promote positive mental health and prevent mental health conditions in pregnant and parenting adolescents. Methods: We used the standardized systematic review methodology based on the process outlined in the World Health Organization’s Handbook for Guidelines Development. This review focused on randomized controlled trials of preventive psychosocial interventions to promote the mental health of pregnant and parenting adolescents, as compared to treatment as usual. We searched PubMed/Medline, PsycINFO, ERIC, EMBASE and ASSIA databases, as well as reference lists of relevant articles, grey literature, and consultation with experts in the field. GRADE was used to assess the quality of evidence. Results: We included 17 eligible studies (n = 3245 participants). Interventions had small to moderate, beneficial effects on positive mental health (SMD = 0.35, very low quality evidence), and moderate beneficial effects on school attendance (SMD = 0.64, high quality evidence). There was limited evidence for the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on mental health disorders including depression and anxiety, substance use, risky sexual and reproductive health behaviors, adherence to antenatal and postnatal care, and parenting skills. There were no available data for outcomes on self-harm and suicide; aggressive, disruptive, and oppositional behaviors; or exposure to intimate partner violence. Only two studies included adolescent fathers. No studies were based in low- or middle-income countries. Conclusion: Despite the encouraging findings in terms of effects on positive mental health and school attendance outcomes, there is a critical evidence gap related to the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for improving mental health, preventing disorders, self-harm, and other risk behaviors among pregnant and parenting adolescents. There is an urgent need to adapt and design new psychosocial interventions that can be pilot-tested and scaled with pregnant adolescents and adolescent parents and their extended networks, particularly in low-income settings. Keywords: Adolescent pregnancy, Adolescent parenthood, Mental health, Psychosocial interventions, Systematic review, Meta-analysis
- Item'When you are a data collector you must expect anything'. Barriers, boundaries and breakthroughs : insights from the South African data-collection experience(SAGE Publications, 2019-04) Roberts, Kathryn; Gordon, Sarah; Sherr, Lorraine; Stewart, Jackie; Skeen, Sarah; Macedo, Ana; Tomlinson, MarkThe impact of the research process on the researcher is an emerging topic of interest. Data collection in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is often the responsibility of community members who are identified and trained specifically for data collection. When research involves data on mental health and social well-being, data collectors may have specific competency needs and the task of data gathering may impact data collectors. This study aims to explore the experiences and needs of data collectors within South Africa using qualitative methods to examine the impact of data collection on data collectors. Nineteen data collectors, involved in face-to-face data collection, completed semi-structured interviews exploring their insights, attitudes and experiences. Thematic analysis revealed barriers and challenges associated with research, complexities regarding boundaries within the participant-data collector relationship and the benefits of being involved with research for the individual and the community. Numerous challenges and opportunities are outlined. Findings expose the beneficial and often overlooked contribution of data collectors and warrants key considerations in the planning and implementation of future research to ensure adequate support and standardization of practice.
- ItemWho can we reach and who can we keep? predictors of intervention engagement and adherence in a cluster randomized controlled trial in South Africa(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-02-27) Rabie, Stephan; Bantjes, Jason; Gordon, Sarah; Almirol, Ellen; Stewart, Jackie; Tomlinson, Mark; Rotheram-Borus, Mary J.Background: Engaging and retaining young men in community-based interventions is highly challenging. The purpose of this study was to investigate the individual factors that predict intervention engagement and adherence in a sample of at-risk South African men. Methods: Baseline data were collected as a part of a cluster randomised control trial (RCT) situated in Khayelitsha and Mfuleni, two peri-urban settlements situated on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Neighbourhoods were randomised to one of three intervention conditions. We performed univariate descriptive statistics to report neighbourhood and individual socio-demographic factors, and ran multivariate models, adjusting for entry of study, to determine if high adherence and consistency of engagement with the intervention were associated with sociobehavioural demographics and risk behaviours, such as hazardous substance use, gangsterism, and criminal activity. Results: Total of 729 men were on average 22.5 years old (SD 2.8), with a mean of 10 years of education. More than half of the sample were single (94%), lived with their parents (66%) and had an income below ~$30 (52%). The overall mean of adherence is 0.41 (SD 0.24) and mean of consistency of engagement is 0.61 (SD 0.30). Our data indicated that completing more years of education, living with parents, and having higher socioeconomic status were significantly associated with higher rates of engagement and adherence. Men with a history of gang membership demonstrated higher levels of adherence and consistent engagement with the intervention, compared with other men who were recruited to the intervention. Crucially, our data show that young men with a history of substance use, and young men who report symptoms of depression and high levels of perceived stress are equally likely as other young men to adhere to the intervention and attend intervention sessions consistently. Conclusion: Our results may contribute to a better understanding of young men’s patterns of engagement and adherence to public health interventions. The results may have important implications for policy and practice, as they may be useful in planning more effective interventions and could potentially be used to predict which young men can be reached through community-based interventions.