Since the sixties of the last century, many people from Morocco and Turkey have migrated into the Netherlands. In the last decade, Moroccan and Turkish patients have found their way to organizations for mental health care. However, they often drop out of treatment. Problems in the communication with therapists and different expectations regarding treatment seem to be causal factors for the early drop-out of therapy. In the Netherlands as in other countries courses have been developed for training cultural competence of therapists. Yet, up to now, the effectiveness of increased cultural competence of therapists in reducing drop-out of treatment has not been studied.
A randomized clinical trial was started in January 2010. Moroccan and Turkish adult patients who are referred to our outpatient clinics for mood and anxiety disorders are randomly assigned to mental health workers who are trained in a cultural module and to those who are not. The therapists have been trained in the Cultural Formulation and in techniques bridging the (cultural) gap between them and their Moroccan and Turkish patients.
The target number of participants is 150 patients, 75 for each group. Drop-out of treatment is the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measures are no-show and patients' perspective of care.
The study will give an answer to the question whether increasing cultural competence of therapists reduces drop-out of treatment in Moroccan and Turkish outpatients with depressive and anxiety disorders.
The Dutch Cochrane Centre, NTR1989