Task-sharing has frequently been proposed as a strategy to overcome human resource shortages in order to scale up mental health care. Although evidence suggests this approach is effective, to date, no review has been conducted to assess its acceptability and feasibility amongst service users and health care practitioners.
This review summarises current findings and provides evidence-based recommendations to improve the success and sustainability of task-sharing approaches. The review highlights that task-sharing is not an outright solution for overcoming human resource shortages in low and middle income countries (LMIC). A number of factors need to be considered in order for task-sharing to be acceptable and feasible, for example, the incidence of distress experienced by the task-sharing workforce, their self perceived level of competence, the acceptance of the workforce by other health care professionals and the incentives provided to ensure workforce retention.
Policy brief based on published research by Padmanathan P and De Silva, M (2013). Title: The acceptability and feasibility of task-sharing for mental healthcare in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Social Science and Medicine. Vol 97. Nov 2013. Pages 82-86.
Padmanathan, P.; De Silva, M. PRIME Policy Brief 4. The acceptability and feasibility of task sharing for mental healthcare in low and middle-income countries: a systematic review. PRIME, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa (2013) 4 pp.