In the brief combined nutrition psychosocial (NUTPSY) treatment, the mothers/caregivers and their severe acute malnourished (SAM) children take part in five bi-monthly 30-minute counselling sessions (in parallel to the nutritional treatment) in which their concerns and doubts around SAM illness and child care practices are heard. Appropriate strategies for child stimulation and emotional responsiveness are worked out with the support of a psychosocial counsellor. The intervention considers the mother as a patient of psychosocial support, but also as the key partner in the treatment of the undernourished child.
The content of the sessions is as follows:
- Family welcome
- Communication & play
- Breastfeeding & feeding
- Massage & bathing, sleep & relaxation
- Family sharing
These topics have been chosen for easy integration into the daily life activities of families, but the major transversal psychosocial drivers of the intervention are counselling and play. Through counselling, mothers listen and are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings regarding their child’s illness, parenting challenges, and the current family situation. Through play, mothers are supported to enhance children’s stimulation and learning, practice good communication patterns, and strengthen mother-child interaction and bonding. All the referred factors are determinants for the success of childcare and general well-being of both the child and the mother.