JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Conducting mixed-methods research with Ebola survivors in a complex setting in Sierra Leone

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In late 2015, the Sierra Leone government established the Comprehensive Program for Ebola Survivors (CPES) to improve the well-being of 3466 registered Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors.

This case analysis outlines the challenges of conducting research studies on the health situation of these EVD survivors in a complicated, post-Ebola context. It outlines strategies to address these challenges without compromising research quality. The mixed-methods study sought to determine EVD survivors’ access to health services offered through CPES, their health and disability status, and psychosocial and mental health issues faced.

Qualitative data from survivors and stakeholders at multiple levels complemented and contextualized the survey results to help understand the unique health and associated socio-economic challenges that EVD survivors face, which could be applied to other crisis settings. Study findings indicated that CPES had lasting impacts on Sierra Leone’s health system, enabling it to respond to EVD survivors, who increasingly accessed health services and showed lower levels of disability after receiving care.

Authors: Soumya Alva, Nicole Davis, Laurentiu Stan, Isotta Pivato, Jeffrey Sanderson

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