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JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(1): e21585, 2021 Jan 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33507158


BACKGROUND: The lack of availability of evidence-based services for people exposed to adversity globally has led to the development of psychological interventions with features that will likely make them more scalable. The evidence for the efficacy of e-mental health from high-income countries is compelling, and the use of these interventions could be a way to increase the coverage of evidence-based psychological interventions in low- and middle-income countries. Step-by-Step is a brief (5-session) intervention proposed by the World Health Organization as an innovative approach to reducing the suffering and disability associated with depression. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a locally adapted version of Step-by-Step with Syrian nationals (trial 1) and Lebanese nationals and other populations residing in Lebanon (trial 2). METHODS: This Step-by-Step trial involves 2 parallel, two-armed, randomized controlled trials comparing the e-intervention Step-by-Step to enhanced care as usual in participants with depressive symptoms and impaired functioning. The randomized controlled trials are designed and powered to detect effectiveness in 2 populations: Syrians in Lebanon (n=568) and other people residing in Lebanon (n=568; Lebanese nationals and other populations resident in Lebanon). The primary outcomes are depressive symptomatology (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9) and functioning (measured with the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale 2.0). Secondary outcomes include anxiety symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, personalized measures of psychosocial problems, subjective well-being, and economic effectiveness. Participants are mainly recruited through online advertising. Additional outreach methods will be used if required, for example through dissemination of information through partner agencies and organizations. They can access the intervention on a computer, tablet, and mobile phone through a hybrid app. Step-by-Step has 5 sessions, and users are guided by trained nonspecialist "e-helpers" providing phone-based or message-based support for around 15 minutes a week. RESULTS: The trials were funded in 2018. The study protocol was last verified June 20, 2019 (WHO ERC.0002797) and registered with (NCT03720769). The trials started recruitment as of December 9, 2019, and all data collection was completed in December 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The Step-by-Step trials will provide evidence about the effectiveness of an e-mental health intervention in Lebanon. If the intervention proves to be effective, this will inform future scale-up of this and similar interventions in Lebanon and in other settings across the world. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03720769; INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/21585.

Front Psychiatry ; 10: 986, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32116815


Background: E-mental health is an established mode of delivering treatment for common mental disorders in many high income countries. However, evidence of its effectiveness in lower income countries is lacking. This mixed methods study presents lessons learned and preliminary data on the feasibility of a minimally guided e-mental health intervention in Lebanon. The aim was to pilot test Step-by-Step, a WHO guided e-mental health intervention, and research methods prior to future, controlled testing. Methods: Participants were recruited using social media and advertisements in primary care clinics. Participants completed baseline and post-intervention questionnaires on depression symptoms (primary outcome, PHQ-8), anxiety symptoms, well-being, disability and self-perceived problem severity, and a client satisfaction questionnaire. In addition, seven completers, four drop-outs, 11 study staff, and four clinic managers were interviewed with responses thematically analyzed. Website analytics were used to understand participant behavior when using the website. Results: A total of 129 participants signed up via the Step-by-Step website. Seventy-four participants started session 1 after completing pre-test questionnaires and 26 completed both baseline and post-intervention data. Among those who completed post-assessments, depression symptoms improved (PHQ-8 scores (t=5.62, p < 0.001 two-tailed, df = 25). Wilcoxon signed ranks tests showed a significant difference between baseline and post-Step-by-Step scores on all secondary outcome measures. Client satisfaction data was positive. Interview responses suggested that the intervention could be made more appropriate for younger, single people, more motivating, and easier to use. Those who utilized the support element of the intervention were happy with their relationship with the non-specialist support person (e-helper), though some participants would have preferred specialist support. E-helpers would have liked more training on complex cases. Website analytics showed that many users dropped out before intervention start, and that some re-entered screening data having been excluded from the study. Conclusion: Step-by-Step skills and techniques, model of service integration, and its non-specialist support element are acceptable. Though the sample was small and non-controlled and drop-out was high, results suggest that it may be effective in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms and increasing well-being. Lessons learned will inform content revision, the development of an app version of Step-by-Step, and the research methodology of upcoming effectiveness studies.

Mhealth ; 4: 34, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30225240


The World Health Organization is developing a range of interventions, including technology supported interventions, to help address the mental health treatment gap, particularly in low and middle-income countries. One of these, Step-by-Step, is a guided, technology supported, intervention for depression. It provides psychoeducation and training in behavioural activation through an illustrated narrative with additional therapeutic techniques such as stress management (slow breathing), identifying strengths, positive self-talk, increasing social support and relapse prevention. Step-by-Step has been designed so that it can be adapted for use in settings with different cultural contexts and resource availability and to be meaningful in communities affected by adversity. This paper describes the process of developing Step-by-Step and highlights particular design features aimed at increasing feasibility of implementation in a wide variety of settings.

Health Soc Care Community ; 24(3): 353-62, 2016 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25754443


The sustainability of primary healthcare (PHC) worldwide has been challenged by a global shortage in human resources for health (HRH). This study is a unique attempt at systematically soliciting and synthesising the voice of PHC and community stakeholders on the HRH recruitment and retention strategies at the PHC sector in Lebanon, the obstacles and challenges hindering their optimisation and the recommendations to overcome such obstacles. A qualitative design was utilised, involving 22 semi-structured interviews with PHC experts in Lebanon conducted in 2013. Nvivo qualitative data analysis software was employed for the thematic analysis of data collected from interviews. Five comprehensive themes emerged: understanding PHC scope, HRH recruitment issues, HRH retention challenges, rural areas' specific challenges and stakeholders' recommendations. Analysis of stakeholders' responses revealed a lack of a unified understanding of the PHC scope impacting the capacity for appropriate HRH planning. Identified impediments to recruitment included the suboptimal supply of HRH, financial constraints and poor management. Retention difficulties were attributed to poor working environments, financial constraints and lack of professional development. There was consensus that HRH challenges faced were aggravated in rural areas, jeopardising the equitable access to PHC services of quality. Equitable access was also jeopardised by the reported shortage of female HRH in a sociocultural context where many females prefer providers of the same gender. The study sets the path towards upscaling recruitment and retention policies and practices through the endorsement of a nationally acknowledged PHC definition and scope, the sustainable development of the PHC workforce and through the implementation of targeted recruitment and retention strategies addressing rural settings and gender equity. Decision-makers and planners are urged to identify HRH as the most important input for the success of PHC programmes and interventions, especially in the growing fields of mental health and geriatric care.

Pessoal de Saúde/organização & administração , Mão de Obra em Saúde/organização & administração , Atenção Primária à Saúde , Meio Ambiente , Pessoal de Saúde/economia , Política de Saúde , Mão de Obra em Saúde/economia , Humanos , Líbano , Seleção de Pessoal , Atenção Primária à Saúde/economia , Pesquisa Qualitativa , Características de Residência , Fatores Sexuais , Fatores Socioeconômicos , Desenvolvimento de Pessoal