Evaluation of district mental healthcare plans: the PRIME consortium methodology

Multidisciplinary methods conducted at community, health facility and district levels

Abstract

Background: Few studies have evaluated the implementation and impact of real-world mental health programmes delivered at scale in low-resource settings.

Aims: To describe the cross-country research methods used to evaluate district-level mental healthcare plans (MHCPs) in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda.

Method: Multidisciplinary methods conducted at community, health facility and district levels, embedded within a theory of change.

Results: The following designs are employed to evaluate the MHCPs: (a) repeat community-based cross-sectional surveys to measure change in population-level contact coverage; (b) repeat facility-based surveys to assess change in detection of disorders; (c) disorder-specific cohorts to assess the effect on patient outcomes; and (d) multilevel case studies to evaluate the process of implementation.

Conclusions: To evaluate whether and how a health-system-level intervention is effective, multidisciplinary research methods are required at different population levels. Although challenging, such methods may be replicated across diverse settings.

This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) which is led by University of Cape Town

Citation

de Silva, M.J.; Rathod, S.D.; Hanlon, C.; Breuer, E.; Chisholm, D.; Fekadu, A.; Jordans, M.; Kigozi, F.; Petersen, I.; Shidhaye, R.; Medhin, G.; Ssebunnya, J.; Prince, M.; Thornicroft, G.; Tomlinson, M.; Lund, C.; Patel, V. Evaluation of district mental healthcare plans: the PRIME consortium methodology. British Journal of Psychiatry (2015) 208 (s56) s63-s70. [DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153858]

Evaluation of district mental healthcare plans: the PRIME consortium methodology

Published 1 January 2015