Ethical Standards for Transnational Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS): Do No Harm, Preventing Cross-Cultural Errors and Inviting Pushback

  • Shah S
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Important components of bioethics are routinely underappreciated in cross-cultural and transnational mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) efforts. This article provides case examples of cultural errors and/or harm by outsiders delivering MHPSS on different continents. The errors illustrate violations of informed consent (principle of autonomy) and avoiding harm (nonmaleficence). Ethical cultural adaptation standards are presented in order to avert such errors. Given the real risk of outsiders applying culturally erroneous and/or harmful practices in the process of delivering aid, the ability to discern pushback (resistance and redirection by intended beneficiaries) can yield ethically significant data. Actively inviting pushback is proposed as an additional methodology for ethical cultural adaptation with the purpose of at least gaining informed consent and, at best, shaping the most beneficent MHPSS. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Clinical Social Work Journal is the property of Springer Science & Business Media B.V. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bioethics
  • Complex emergencies
  • Cross-cultural trauma
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Cultural competence
  • Disaster mental health
  • First responders
  • Global health
  • Humanitarian aid
  • International social work
  • Medical errors
  • Transcultural psychology

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  • Siddharth Ashvin Shah

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