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Patel V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Kieling C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maulik P.K.,George Institute for Global Health | Maulik P.K.,University of Oxford | Divan G.,Sangath
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2013

Developmental disabilities, emotional disorders and disruptive behaviour disorders are the leading mental health-related causes of the global burden of disease in children aged below 10 years. This article aims to address the treatment gap for child mental disorders through synthesising three bodies of evidence: the global evidence base on the treatment of these priority disorders; the barriers to implementation of this knowledge; and the innovative approaches taken to address these barriers and improve access to care. Our focus is on low-resource settings, which are mostly found in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Despite the evidence base on the burden of child mental disorders and their long-term consequences, and the recent mental health Gap Action Programme guidelines which testify to the effectiveness of a range of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for these disorders, the vast majority of children in LMIC do not have access to these interventions. We identify three major barriers for the implementation of efficacious treatments: the lack of evidence on delivery of the treatments, the low levels of detection of child mental disorders and the shortage of skilled child mental health professionals. The evidence based on implementation, although weak, supports the use of screening measures for detection of probable disorders, coupled with a second-stage diagnostic assessment and the use of nonspecialist workers in community and school settings for the delivery of psychosocial interventions. The most viable strategy to address the treatment gap is through the empowerment of existing human resources who are most intimately concerned with child care, including parents, through innovative technologies, such as mobile health, with the necessary skills for the detection and treatment of child mental disorders. Source


Elsabbagh M.,Montreal Childrens Hospital | Elsabbagh M.,Birkbeck, University of London | Divan G.,Sangath | Koh Y.-J.,Seoul Development Institute | And 11 more authors.
Autism Research | Year: 2012

We provide a systematic review of epidemiological surveys of autistic disorder and pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) worldwide. A secondary aim was to consider the possible impact of geographic, cultural/ethnic, and socioeconomic factors on prevalence estimates and on clinical presentation of PDD. Based on the evidence reviewed, the median of prevalence estimates of autism spectrum disorders was 62/10000. While existing estimates are variable, the evidence reviewed does not support differences in PDD prevalence by geographic region nor of a strong impact of ethnic/cultural or socioeconomic factors. However, power to detect such effects is seriously limited in existing data sets, particularly in low-income countries. While it is clear that prevalence estimates have increased over time and these vary in different neighboring and distant regions, these findings most likely represent broadening of the diagnostic concets, diagnostic switching from other developmental disabilities to PDD, service availability, and awareness of autistic spectrum disorders in both the lay and professional public. The lack of evidence from the majority of the world's population suggests a critical need for further research and capacity building in low- and middle-income countries. © 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


De Silva M.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Breuer E.,University of Cape Town | Lee L.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Asher L.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Trials | Year: 2014

Background: The Medical Research Councils' framework for complex interventions has been criticized for not including theory-driven approaches to evaluation. Although the framework does include broad guidance on the use of theory, it contains little practical guidance for implementers and there have been calls to develop a more comprehensive approach. A prospective, theory-driven process of intervention design and evaluation is required to develop complex healthcare interventions which are more likely to be effective, sustainable and scalable.Methods: We propose a theory-driven approach to the design and evaluation of complex interventions by adapting and integrating a programmatic design and evaluation tool, Theory of Change (ToC), into the MRC framework for complex interventions. We provide a guide to what ToC is, how to construct one, and how to integrate its use into research projects seeking to design, implement and evaluate complex interventions using the MRC framework. We test this approach by using ToC within two randomized controlled trials and one non-randomized evaluation of complex interventions. Results: Our application of ToC in three research projects has shown that ToC can strengthen key stages of the MRC framework. It can aid the development of interventions by providing a framework for enhanced stakeholder engagement and by explicitly designing an intervention that is embedded in the local context. For the feasibility and piloting stage, ToC enables the systematic identification of knowledge gaps to generate research questions that strengthen intervention design. ToC may improve the evaluation of interventions by providing a comprehensive set of indicators to evaluate all stages of the causal pathway through which an intervention achieves impact, combining evaluations of intervention effectiveness with detailed process evaluations into one theoretical framework. Conclusions: Incorporating a ToC approach into the MRC framework holds promise for improving the design and evaluation of complex interventions, thereby increasing the likelihood that the intervention will be ultimately effective, sustainable and scalable. We urge researchers developing and evaluating complex interventions to consider using this approach, to evaluate its usefulness and to build an evidence base to further refine the methodology. Trial registration: Clinical trials.gov: NCT02160249. © 2014 De Silva et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Desai M.U.,Fordham University | Divan G.,Sangath | Wertz F.J.,Fordham University | Patel V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Transcultural Psychiatry | Year: 2012

The current study investigated the lived experience of 12 parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in everyday cultural contexts in Goa, India. Narratives from parents collected between 2009 and 2010 were analyzed using the procedures of phenomenological psychology. Four temporal phases of parents' experience emerged from these data. Findings showed that the earliest phase of the child's life was a period of relative normalcy and social cohesion. In the second phase, the child's behaviors began to disrupt the everyday social order, but parents viewed these unexpected behaviors as temporary. In the third phase, parents' observations in public situations, along with assessments of others, led to a qualitative shift in which parents began to perceive that there was a persisting problem interfering with their child's social and practical activities. In the fourth phase, parents grappled with developing their child's capacities to meet existing practical opportunities in the local society, while attempting to reshape the social world to accommodate the abilities and limits of children like their own. Parents' fundamental concerns throughout their journey were: learning to meet new and unfamiliar challenges as parents, caring for their child's basic needs, and finding an engaging niche with a sense of belonging for their child in the everyday milieu. Both culture-specific and potentially universal levels of experience are delineated in the overall findings. Implications for culturally sensitive research and practice in India and other low- and middle-income countries are discussed. © The Author(s) 2012 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav. Source


Breuer E.,University of Cape Town | De Silva M.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Fekadu A.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Fekadu A.,Kings College London | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Mental Health Systems | Year: 2014

Background: The Theory of Change (ToC) approach has been used to develop and evaluate complex health initiatives in a participatory way in high income countries. Little is known about its use to develop mental health care plans in low and middle income countries where mental health services remain inadequate.Aims: ToC workshops were held as part of formative phase of the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) in order 1) to develop a structured logical and evidence-based ToC map as a basis for a mental health care plan in each district; (2) to contextualise the plans; and (3) to obtain stakeholder buy-in in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda. This study describes the structure and facilitator's experiences of ToC workshops.Methods: The facilitators of the ToC workshops were interviewed and the interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed together with process documentation from the workshops using a framework analysis approach.Results: Thirteen workshops were held in the five PRIME countries at different levels of the health system. The ToC workshops achieved their stated goals with the contributions of different stakeholders. District health planners, mental health specialists, and researchers contributed the most to the development of the ToC while service providers provided detailed contextual information. Buy-in was achieved from all stakeholders but valued more from those in control of resources.Conclusions: ToC workshops are a useful approach for developing ToCs as a basis for mental health care plans because they facilitate logical, evidence based and contextualised plans, while promoting stakeholder buy in. Because of the existing hierarchies within some health systems, strategies such as limiting the types of participants and stratifying the workshops can be used to ensure productive workshops. © 2014 Breuer et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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