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Transcult Psychiatry ; 57(1): 161-172, 2020 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31180824


This study investigated the experience of lay health workers (LHWs) delivering problem-solving therapy (PST) for common mental disorders (CMD) as well as clients' views of the PST program referred to as the Friendship Bench (FB). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with LHWs (n = 5) and clients living with HIV (PLWH) (n = 10). Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. LHWs described a severe form of CMD amongst PLWH with a history of trauma, naming it kufungisisa kwe njodzi (excessive thinking due to trauma), a local cultural equivalent of PTSD. The term kufungisisa (thinking too much) has been used as the local equivalent for CMD. Trauma or njodzi was seen both as a circumscribed event and as linked to ongoing pervasive experiences such as living with HIV, stigma, and poverty. Although LHWs recognized symptoms of PTSD such as intrusion, avoidance, and hyper-arousal, they did not know how to address these specifically and chose to address them as a severe form of kufungisisa. There is a need to integrate aspects of PTSD management within care packages for CMD delivered by LHWs.

JAMA ; 316(24): 2618-2626, 2016 12 27.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28027368


Importance: Depression and anxiety are common mental disorders globally but are rarely recognized or treated in low-income settings. Task-shifting of mental health care to lay health workers (LHWs) might decrease the treatment gap. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a culturally adapted psychological intervention for common mental disorders delivered by LHWs in primary care. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cluster randomized clinical trial with 6 months' follow-up conducted from September 1, 2014, to May 25, 2015, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Twenty-four clinics were randomized 1:1 to the intervention or enhanced usual care (control). Participants were clinic attenders 18 years or older who screened positive for common mental disorders on the locally validated Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14). Interventions: The Friendship Bench intervention comprised 6 sessions of individual problem-solving therapy delivered by trained, supervised LHWs plus an optional 6-session peer support program. The control group received standard care plus information, education, and support on common mental disorders. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcome was common mental disorder measured at 6 months as a continuous variable via the SSQ-14 score, with a range of 0 (best) to 14 and a cutpoint of 9. The secondary outcome was depression symptoms measured as a binary variable via the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire, with a range of 0 (best) to 27 and a cutpoint of 11. Outcomes were analyzed by modified intention-to-treat. Results: Among 573 randomized patients (286 in the intervention group and 287 in the control group), 495 (86.4%) were women, median age was 33 years (interquartile range, 27-41 years), 238 (41.7%) were human immunodeficiency virus positive, and 521 (90.9%) completed follow-up at 6 months. Intervention group participants had fewer symptoms than control group participants on the SSQ-14 (3.81; 95% CI, 3.28 to 4.34 vs 8.90; 95% CI, 8.33 to 9.47; adjusted mean difference, -4.86; 95% CI, -5.63 to -4.10; P < .001; adjusted risk ratio [ARR], 0.21; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.29; P < .001). Intervention group participants also had lower risk of symptoms of depression (13.7% vs 49.9%; ARR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.34; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: Among individuals screening positive for common mental disorders in Zimbabwe, LHW-administered, primary care-based problem-solving therapy with education and support compared with standard care plus education and support resulted in improved symptoms at 6 months. Scaled-up primary care integration of this intervention should be evaluated. Trial Registration: Identifier: PACTR201410000876178.

Agentes Comunitarios de Salud , Asistencia Sanitaria Culturalmente Competente , Trastornos Mentales/terapia , Atención Primaria de Salud , Solución de Problemas , Psicoterapia , Adulto , Distribución por Edad , Ansiedad/epidemiología , Ansiedad/terapia , Agentes Comunitarios de Salud/educación , Depresión/epidemiología , Depresión/terapia , Femenino , Estudios de Seguimiento , Seropositividad para VIH/epidemiología , Humanos , Masculino , Trastornos Mentales/diagnóstico , Persona de Mediana Edad , Cooperación del Paciente/estadística & datos numéricos , Selección de Paciente , Grupo Paritario , Distribución por Sexo , Evaluación de Síntomas , Resultado del Tratamiento , Adulto Joven , Zimbabwe/epidemiología
Int J Ment Health Syst ; 10: 39, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27175215


BACKGROUND: There are few accounts of evidence-based interventions for depression and other common mental disorders (CMDs) in primary care in low-income countries. The Friendship Bench Project is a collaborative care mental health intervention in primary care in Harare for CMDs which began as a pilot in 2006. CASE PRESENTATION: We employed a mixture of quantitative and qualitative approaches to investigate the project's acceptability and implementation, 4-8 years after the initial pilot study. We carried out basic descriptive analyses of routine data on attendance collected between 2010 and 2014. We also conducted five focus group discussions (FGDs) with LHWs in 2013 and 12 in-depth interviews, six with staff and six with patients, to explore experiences of the intervention, which we analysed using grounded theory. Results show that the intervention appears highly acceptable as evidenced by a consistent number of visits between 2010 and 2014 (mean 505 per year, SD 132); by the finding that the same team of female community LHWs employed as government health promoters continue to deliver assessment and problem-solving therapy, and the perceived positive benefits expressed by those interviewed. Clients described feeling 'relieved and relaxed' after therapy, and having their 'mind opened', and LHWs describing satisfaction from being agents of change. Characteristics of the LHWs (status in the community, maturity, trustworthiness), and of the intervention (use of locally validated symptom screen, perceived relevance of problem-solving therapy) and continuity of the LHW team appeared crucial. Challenges to implementation included the LHWs ongoing need for weekly supervision despite years of experience; the supervisors need for supervision for herself; training needs in managing suicidal and hostile clients; poor documentation; lack of follow-up of depressed clients; and poor access to antidepressants. CONCLUSIONS: This case study shows that a collaborative care intervention for CMDs is positively received by patients, rewarding for LHWs to deliver, and can be sustained over time at low cost. Next steps include evaluation of the impact of the intervention through a randomised trial, and testing of a technological platform for supporting supervision and monitoring clients' attendance.