Adaptation of a school-based mental health program for adolescents in Vietnam

Nga Linh La, Ian Shochet, Thach Tran, Jane Fisher, Astrid Wurfl, Nga Nguyen, Jayne Orr, Ruby Stocker, Huong Nguyen

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Introduction Cultural adaptation of a school-based mental health intervention developed in a high-income country is a cost-effective method to address the mental health needs of adolescents in resource-constrained settings. The aim of this study was to translate and culturally adapt the Resourceful Adolescent Program for Adolescents (RAP-A) for adolescents attending high school in Vietnam. Methods The translation and adaptation were conducted using a five-step process including (1) initial stakeholder consultation, (2) forward translation, (3) backward translation, (4) adaptation, and (5) finalising the adapted version. An adaptation panel was established, including the RAP-A authors and mental health and public health experts from Australia, and psychology and public health experts from Vietnam. The panel collaborated closely with a group of stakeholders, including bilingual psychologists and psychiatrists, high school (grades 10–12) students and teachers throughout the adaptation process. Results The adapted version of RAP-A was named ‘Happy House’. Happy House was adapted to be delivered in larger groups and in longer sessions than the RAP-A. The 11 sessions in RAP-A were restructured to 6 sessions in Happy House. Major changes were not required for any of the materials. However, some content, illustrations and videos were adapted to be more feasible for the school context and to enhance the comprehensibility, acceptability and appropriateness. Conclusion Happy House has great potential to be relevant, comprehensible and acceptable for Vietnamese adolescents. Further research is warranted to examine the relevance, comprehensibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of this program on adolescents’ mental health before advocating for scaling up program delivery in high schools throughout Vietnam.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0271959
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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