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South Boston, United States

Boothby N.,Columbia University | Veatch M.,Columbia University | Pentes M.,John Snow International Inc.
Psychiatrist | Year: 2011

Aims and method: To share evaluation findings of a new decentralised mental healthcare system addressing Axis I disorders, developed in four subdistricts of Aceh Besar in Indonesia following the 2004 Asian tsunami. Two complementary methodologies were employed: an adequacy survey that assessed whether agreed programme implementation tasks were completed, and an outcome study that utilised patient, caregiver and staff assessment of the programme to determine what changes, if any, resulted from participation in the programme. Results: The system is functional in 3 of 4 subdistricts, and 47 of 53 subdistrict clinics (puskesmas) have trained mental healthcare nurses. Both patients and caregivers reported statistically significant differences when ranking patient wellbeing and were able to qualitatively describe specific changes in patient symptomatology and social functioning. Clinical implications: Results indicate that (a) the creation of a decentralised system with outreach at multiple levels, (b) emphasis on staff capacity building within a wider household-to-hospital continuum of care, and (c) incorporation of community volunteers working with trained medical personnel led to effective treatment options for people with Axis I disorders in a resource-poor setting. Declaration of interest: M.P. is employed by John Snow Inc. Source

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