Yale University

Rapid Assessment and Response to Substance Use and Risk of HIV and Other Blood-Borne Infections Among Displaced Populations in Beirut, Lebanon

Principle Investigator(s):

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Project period:
Grant Type: Pilot Project

Abstract Text:

Significance - The dual problems of substance use (SU) and risk of blood-borne infections among the over 1 million violent conflict-driven displaced populations (mostly Syrians and Iraqis) in Lebanon is a neglected area of public health and to our knowledge, there has not been any scientific investigation on this issue in Lebanon. Research question - What is the current situation of SU and risk of blood-borne infections (particularly HIV, HBV and HCV) among displaced populations, particularly Syrians and Iraqis, in the larger Beirut area of Lebanon?

Methods - The research strategy we propose is the Rapid Assessment and Response (RAR) methodology. The data collected via RAR methodology offers a means for responding quickly to the growing problem of SU and risk of blood-borne infections among displaced populations in Lebanon with appropriate policies, programs and interventions. We will use a variety of RAR methodology to answer our research question. These include: social mapping of substance use sites, individual semistructured interviews with displaced populations (n=30-40) and “key informants” / key stakeholders (10-15) and document collection and analysis.

Data Analysis –Data will be analyzed utilizing a grounded theory inductive framework. As themes emerge, we will modify interview prompts based on the analysis from all three data streams. We will use thematic analysis, in which key themes emerging from the data are identified. An initial coding system for larger themes will be developed which will then be revised and modified into sub-themes and codes as the analysis progresses.

Expected Outcome – This study will produce preliminary data and insights on the problems of SU and risk of blood-borne infections among displaced Syrians and Iraqis in Lebanon. These results will help inform the development of a) local policy and programmatic responses to these neglected public health problems and b) a larger NIH research grant application by a joint team of investigators from joint Yale and the American University of Beirut.