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author:("Andrew, grace")
1.  The impact of a lay counselor led collaborative care intervention for common mental disorders in public and private primary care: A qualitative evaluation nested in the MANAS trial in Goa, India☆ 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)  2013;88(100):48-55.
The MANAS trial evaluated the effectiveness of a lay counselor led collaborative stepped care intervention for Common Mental Disorders (CMD) in public and private sector primary care settings in Goa, India. This paper describes the qualitative findings of the experience of the intervention and its impact on health and psychosocial outcomes. Twenty four primary care facilities (12 public and private each) were randomized to provide either collaborative stepped care (CSC) or enhanced usual care (EUC) to adults who screen positive for CMDs. Participants were sampled purposively based on two criteria: gender and, in the CSC arm, adherence with the intervention. The qualitative study component involved two semi-structured interviews with participants of both arms (N = 115); the first interview within 2 months of recruitment and the second 6–8 months after recruitment. Data were collected between September 2007 and November 2009. More participants in the CSC than EUC arm reported relief from symptoms and an improvement in social functioning and positive impact on work and activities of daily life. The CSC participants attributed their improvement both to medication received from the doctors and the strategies suggested by the lay Health Counselors (HC). However, two key differences were observed in the results for the two types of facilities. First, the CSC participants in the public sector clinics were more likely to consider the HCs to be an important component of providing care who served as a link between patient and the doctor, provided them skills on stress management and helped in adherence to medication. Second, in the private sector, doctors performed roles similar to those of the HCs and participants in both arms placed much faith in the doctor who acted as a confidante and was perceived to understand the participant's health and context intimately. Lay counselors working in a CSC model have a positive effect on symptomatic relief, social functioning and satisfaction with care in patients with CMD attending primary care clinics although the impact, compared with usual care, is greater in the public sector.
•Qualitative evaluation of a lay counselor primary mental health care intervention.•The intervention led to improved patients' health and social outcomes.•Improvements were attributed to both counselling and medicines.•Differences were greater in the public compared with the private facilities.
PMCID: PMC3675686  PMID: 23702209
India; Depression; Anxiety; Qualitative; Lay health workers; Randomized controlled trial; Primary care
2.  The explanatory models of depression and anxiety in primary care: a qualitative study from India 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:499.
The biggest barrier to treatment of common mental disorders in primary care settings is low recognition among health care providers. This study attempts to explore the explanatory models of common mental disorders (CMD) with the goal of identifying how they could help in improving the recognition, leading to effective treatment in primary care.
The paper describes findings of a cross sectional qualitative study nested within a large randomized controlled trial (the Manas trial). Semi structured interviews were conducted with 117 primary health care attendees (30 males and 87 females) suffering from CMD. Main findings of the study are that somatic phenomena were by far the most frequent presenting problems; however, psychological phenomena were relatively easily elicited on probing. Somatic phenomena were located within a biopsychosocial framework, and a substantial proportion of informants used the psychological construct of ‘tension’ or ‘worry’ to label their illness, but did not consider themselves as suffering from a ‘mental disorder’. Very few gender differences were observed in the descriptions of symptoms but at the same time the pattern of adverse life events and social difficulties varied across gender.
Our study demonstrates how people present their illness through somatic complaints but clearly link their illness to their psychosocial world. However they do not associate their illness to a ‘mental disorder’ and this is an important phenomenon that needs to be recognized in management of CMD in primary settings. Our study also elicits important gender differences in the experience of CMD.
PMCID: PMC3477101  PMID: 22967728
3.  The acceptability, feasibility and impact of a lay health counsellor delivered health promoting schools programme in India: a case study evaluation 
Studies in resource-limited settings have shown that there are constraints to the use of teachers, peers or health professionals to deliver school health promotion interventions. School health programmes delivered by trained lay health counsellors could offer a cost-effective alternative. This paper presents a case study of a multi-component school health promotion intervention in India that was delivered by lay school health counsellors, who possessed neither formal educational nor health provider qualifications.
The intervention was based on the WHO’s Health Promoting Schools framework, and included health screening camps; an anonymous letter box for student questions and complaints; classroom-based life skills training; and, individual psycho-social and academic counselling for students. The intervention was delivered by a lay school health counsellor who had attained a minimum of a high school education. The counsellor was trained over four weeks and received structured supervision from health professionals working for the implementing NGO. The evaluation design was a mixed methods case study. Quantitative process indicators were collected to assess the extent to which the programme was delivered as planned (feasibility), the uptake of services (acceptability), and the number of students who received corrective health treatment (evidence of impact). Semi-structured interviews were conducted over two years with 108 stakeholders, and were analysed to identify barriers and facilitators for the programme (feasibility), evaluate acceptability, and gather evidence of positive or negative effects of the programme.
Feasibility was established by the high reported coverage of all the targeted activities by the school health counsellor. Acceptability was indicated by a growing number of submissions to the students’ anonymous letter-box; more students self-referring for counselling services over time; and, the perceived need for the programme, as expressed by principals, parents and students. A minority of teachers complained that there was inadequate information sharing about the programme and mentioned reservations about the capacities of the lay health counsellor. Preliminary evidence of the positive effects of the programme included the correction of vision problems detected in health screening camps, and qualitative evidence of changes in health-related knowledge and behaviour of students.
A task-shifting approach of delegating school health promotion activities to lay school health counsellors rather than education or health professionals shows promise of effectiveness as a scalable model for promoting the health and well being of school based adolescents in resource constrained settings.
PMCID: PMC3461450  PMID: 22630607
4.  The integration of the treatment for common mental disorders in primary care: experiences of health care providers in the MANAS trial in Goa, India 
The MANAS trial reported that a Lay Health Counsellor (LHC) led collaborative stepped care intervention (the "MANAS intervention") for Common Mental Disorders (CMD) was effective in public sector primary care clinics but private sector General Practitioners (GPs) did as well with or without the additional counsellor. This paper aims to describe the experiences of integrating the MANAS intervention in primary care.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews with key members (n = 119) of the primary health care teams upon completion of the trial and additional interviews with control arm GPs upon completion of the outcome analyses which revealed non-inferiority of this arm.
Several components of the MANAS intervention were reported to have been critically important for facilitating integration, notably: screening and the categorization of the severity of CMD; provision of psychosocial treatments and adherence management; and the support of the visiting psychiatrist. Non-adherence was common, often because symptoms had been controlled or because of doubt that health care interventions could address one's 'life difficulties'. Interpersonal therapy was intended to be provided face to face by the LHC; however it could not be delivered for most eligible patients due to the cost implications related to travel to the clinic and the time lost from work. The LHCs had particular difficulty in working with patients with extreme social difficulties or alcohol related problems, and elderly patients, as the intervention seemed unable to address their specific needs. The control arm GPs adopted practices similar to the principles of the MANAS intervention; GPs routinely diagnosed CMD and provided psychoeducation, advice on life style changes and problem solving, prescribed antidepressants, and referred to specialists as appropriate.
The key factors which enhance the acceptability and integration of a LHC in primary care are training, systematic steps to build trust, the passage of time, the observable impacts on patient outcomes, and supervision by a visiting psychiatrist. Several practices by the control arm GPs approximated those of the LHC which may partly explain our findings that they were as effective as the MANAS intervention arm GPs in enabling recovery.
PMCID: PMC3197544  PMID: 21968202

Results 1-4 (4)