Few studies have evaluated the implementation and impact of real-world mental health programmes delivered at scale in low-resource settings.
To describe the cross-country research methods used to evaluate district-level mental healthcare plans (MHCPs) in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda.
Multidisciplinary methods conducted at community, health facility and district levels, embedded within a theory of change.
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.
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.
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]