Planning and evaluating mental health services in low- and middle-income countries using theory of change

A cross-country and 5 district Theories of Change were developed to improve outcomes for people with mental disorders

Abstract

Background: There is little practical guidance on how contextually relevant mental healthcare plans (MHCPs) can be developed in low-resource settings.

Aims: To describe how theory of change (ToC) was used to plan the development and evaluation of MHCPs as part of the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME).

Method: ToC development occurred in 3 stages: (a) development of a cross-country ToC by 15 PRIME consortium members; (b) development of country-specific ToCs in 13 workshops with a median of 15 (interquartile range 13–22) stakeholders per workshop; and (c) review and refinement of the cross-country ToC by 18 PRIME consortium members.

Results: One cross-country and 5 district ToCs were developed that outlined the steps required to improve outcomes for people with mental disorders in PRIME districts.

Conclusions: ToC is a valuable participatory method that can be used to develop MHCPs and plan their evaluation.

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

Breuer, E.; de Silva, M.J.; Shidaye, R.; Petersen, I.; Nakku, J.; Jordans, M.J.D.; Fekadu, A.; Lund, C. Planning and evaluating mental health services in low- and middle-income countries using theory of change. British Journal of Psychiatry (2015) 208 (s56) s55-s62. [DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153841]

Planning and evaluating mental health services in low- and middle-income countries using theory of change

Published 1 January 2015