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1.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566361

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Although women's health is prioritised in global research, few studies have identified structural barriers and strategies to promote female leadership and gender equality in the global health research workforce, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study to evaluate gender equality in the mental health research workforce in Nepal. The scoping review assessed gender disparities in authorship of journal publications for Nepal mental health research, using databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of Science, NepJol, NepMed) for 5 years. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 Nepali researchers to identify structural barriers limiting women's leadership. RESULTS: Of 337 articles identified, 61% were by Nepali first authors. Among Nepali first authors, 38.3% were women. Nepali women had half the odds of being first authors compared with men, when referenced against non-Nepali authors (OR 0.50, 95% CI 1.30 to 3.16). When limiting publications to those based on funded research, the odds were worse for first authorship among Nepali women (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.71). The qualitative analysis supported the scoping review and identified a lack of gender-friendly organisational policies, difficulties in communication and mobility, and limited opportunities for networking as barriers to women's leadership in global health research. CONCLUSION: Efforts are needed for greater representation of Nepali women in global mental health research, which will require transformative organisational policies to foster female leadership. Those in leadership need to recognise gender inequalities and take necessary steps to address them. Funding agencies should prioritise supporting organisations with gender equality task forces, policies and indicators.

3.
The Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(5):e13, 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1340928

ABSTRACT

Reports an error in "COVID-19 mental health impact and responses in low-income and middle-income countries: Reimagining global mental health" by Lola Kola, Brandon A. Kohrt, Charlotte Hanlon, John A. Naslund, Siham Sikander, Madhumitha Balaji, Corina Benjet, Eliza Yee Lai Cheung, Julian Eaton, Pattie Gonsalves, Maji Hailemariam, Nagendra P. Luitel, Daiane B. Machado, Eleni Misganaw, Olayinka Omigbodun, Tessa Roberts, Tatiana Taylor Salisbury, Rahul Shidhaye, Charlene Sunkel, Victor Ugo, Andre Janse van Rensburg, Oye Gureje, Soumitra Pathare, Shekhar Saxena, Graham Thornicroft and Vikram Patel (The Lancet Psychiatry, 2021[Jun], Vol 8[6], 535-550). In this Review, Lola Kola's degree should have been PhD and Brandon A Kohrt's degree should have been PhD. Madhumitha Balaji's affiliation should have been "Sangath, India". These corrections have been made to the online version as of Mar 8, 2021, and will be made to the printed version. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2021-51602-023.) Most of the global population live in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), which have historically received a small fraction of global resources for mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly in many of these countries. This Review examines the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in LMICs in four parts. First, we review the emerging literature on the impact of the pandemic on mental health, which shows high rates of psychological distress and early warning signs of an increase in mental health disorders. Second, we assess the responses in different countries, noting the swift and diverse responses to address mental health in some countries, particularly through the development of national COVID-19 response plans for mental health services, implementation of WHO guidance, and deployment of digital platforms, signifying a welcome recognition of the salience of mental health. Third, we consider the opportunity that the pandemic presents to reimagine global mental health, especially through shifting the balance of power from high-income countries to LMICs and from narrow biomedical approaches to community-oriented psychosocial perspectives, in setting priorities for interventions and research. Finally, we present a vision for the concept of building back better the mental health systems in LMICs with a focus on key strategies;notably, fully integrating mental health in plans for universal health coverage, enhancing access to psychosocial interventions through task sharing, leveraging digital technologies for various mental health tasks, eliminating coercion in mental health care, and addressing the needs of neglected populations, such as children and people with substance use disorders. Our recommendations are relevant for the mental health of populations and functioning of health systems in not only LMICs but also high-income countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with wide disparities in quality of and access to mental health care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

4.
PLoS Med ; 18(6): e1003621, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Globally, 235 million people are impacted by humanitarian emergencies worldwide, presenting increased risk of experiencing a mental disorder. Our objective was to test the effectiveness of a brief group psychological treatment delivered by trained facilitators without prior professional mental health training in a disaster-prone setting. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) from November 25, 2018 through September 30, 2019. Participants in both arms were assessed at baseline, midline (7 weeks post-baseline, which was approximately 1 week after treatment in the experimental arm), and endline (20 weeks post-baseline, which was approximately 3 months posttreatment). The intervention was Group Problem Management Plus (PM+), a psychological treatment of 5 weekly sessions, which was compared with enhanced usual care (EUC) consisting of a family psychoeducation meeting with a referral option to primary care providers trained in mental healthcare. The setting was 72 wards (geographic unit of clustering) in eastern Nepal, with 1 PM+ group per ward in the treatment arm. Wards were eligible if they were in disaster-prone regions and residents spoke Nepali. Wards were assigned to study arms based on covariate constrained randomization. Eligible participants were adult women and men 18 years of age and older who met screening criteria for psychological distress and functional impairment. Outcomes were measured at the participant level, with assessors blinded to group assignment. The primary outcome was psychological distress assessed with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, "heart-mind" problems, social support, somatic symptoms, and functional impairment. The hypothesized mediator was skill use aligned with the treatment's mechanisms of action. A total of 324 participants were enrolled in the control arm (36 wards) and 319 in the Group PM+ arm (36 wards). The overall sample (N = 611) had a median age of 45 years (range 18-91 years), 82% of participants were female, 50% had recently experienced a natural disaster, and 31% had a chronic physical illness. Endline assessments were completed by 302 participants in the control arm (36 wards) and 303 participants in the Group PM+ arm (36 wards). At the midline assessment (immediately after Group PM+ in the experimental arm), mean GHQ-12 total score was 2.7 units lower in Group PM+ compared to control (95% CI: 1.7, 3.7, p < 0.001), with standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.4 (95% CI: -0.5, -0.2). At 3 months posttreatment (primary endpoint), mean GHQ-12 total score was 1.4 units lower in Group PM+ compared to control (95% CI: 0.3, 2.5, p = 0.014), with SMD of -0.2 (95% CI: -0.4, 0.0). Among the secondary outcomes, Group PM+ was associated with endline with a larger proportion attaining more than 50% reduction in depression symptoms (29.9% of Group PM+ arm versus 17.3% of control arm, risk ratio = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.4, p = 0.002). Fewer participants in the Group PM+ arm continued to have "heart-mind" problems at endline (58.8%) compared to the control arm (69.4%), risk ratio = 0.8 (95% CI, 0.7, 1.0, p = 0.042). Group PM+ was not associated with lower PTSD symptoms or functional impairment. Use of psychosocial skills at midline was estimated to explain 31% of the PM+ effect on endline GHQ-12 scores. Adverse events in the control arm included 1 suicide death and 1 reportable incidence of domestic violence; in the Group PM+ arm, there was 1 death due to physical illness. Study limitations include lack of power to evaluate gender-specific effects, lack of long-term outcomes (e.g., 12 months posttreatment), and lack of cost-effectiveness information. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that a 5-session group psychological treatment delivered by nonspecialists modestly reduced psychological distress and depression symptoms in a setting prone to humanitarian emergencies. Benefits were partly explained by the degree of psychosocial skill use in daily life. To improve the treatment benefit, future implementation should focus on approaches to enhance skill use by PM+ participants. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03747055.


Subject(s)
Depression/therapy , Mental Health , Natural Disasters , Problem Solving , Psychotherapy, Brief , Psychotherapy, Group , Relief Work , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy , Stress, Psychological/therapy , Adaptation, Psychological , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Functional Status , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress, Psychological/diagnosis , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
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6.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(6): 456, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237934
7.
Glob Ment Health (Camb) ; 7: e22, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-832874

ABSTRACT

In the wake of George Floyd's killing by police in Minneapolis and the global response inspired by Black Lives Matter, it is time for the field of global mental health to reexamine how we have acknowledged and addressed racism in our institutions, our research, and our mental health services. In solidarity with street level responses, this is an important opportunity to understand and collaboratively respond to public demand for systemic change. To respond effectively, it is vital to (1) be aware of the colonial history that influences today's practices, and move forward with anti-colonial and anti-racist actions; (2) identify where and why diversity and representation are lacking in the global mental health workforce, then follow steps to combat these disparities; and (3) work with communities and institutions to end both police violence and structural violence.

8.
Soc Sci Med ; : 113378, 2020 Sep 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779652

ABSTRACT

A hallmark of complex humanitarian emergencies is the collective exposure, often over extended periods of time, to political violence in the forms of war, terrorism, political intimidation, repression, unlawful detention, and forced displacement. Populations in complex humanitarian emergencies have higher risks of multiple co-morbidities: mental disorders, infectious diseases, malnutrition, and chronic non-communicable diseases. However, there is wide variation in the health impacts both across and within humanitarian emergencies. Syndemic theory is an approach to conceptualizing disease and social determinants to understand differential patterns of multi-morbidity, elucidate underlying mechanisms, and better design interventions. Syndemic theory, if applied to complex humanitarian emergencies, has the potential to uncover origins of localized patterns of multi-morbidity resulting from political violence and historical inequities. In this paper, we present two case studies based on mixed-methods research to illustrate how syndemic models can be applied in complex humanitarian emergencies. First, in a Nepal case study, we explore different patterns of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression co-morbidity among female former child soldiers returning home after war. Despite comparable exposure to war-related traumas, girl soldiers in high-caste Hindu communities had 63% co-morbidity of PTSD and depression, whereas girl soldiers in communities with mixed castes and religions, had 8% PTSD prevalence, but no cases of PTSD and depression co-morbidity. In the second case study, we explore the high rates of type 2 diabetes during a spike in political violence and population displacement. Despite low rates of obesity and other common risk factors, Somalis in Ethiopia experienced rising cases of and poor outcomes from type-2 diabetes. Political violence shapes healthcare resources, diets, and potentially, this epidemiological anomaly. Based on these case studies we propose a humanitarian syndemic research agenda for observational and intervention studies, with the central focus being that public health efforts need to target violence prevention at family, community, national, and global levels.

9.
Clin Psychol Rev ; 82: 101920, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-778684

ABSTRACT

Why do humans heal one another? Evolutionary psychology has advanced our understanding of why humans suffer psychological distress and mental illness. However, to date, the evolutionary origins of what drives humans to alleviate the suffering of others has received limited attention. Therefore, we draw upon evolutionary theory to assess why humans psychologically support one another, focusing on the interpersonal regulation of emotions that shapes how humans heal and console one another when in psychosocial distress. To understand why we engage in psychological healing, we review the evolution of cooperation among social species and the roles of emotional contagion, empathy, and self-regulation. We discuss key aspects of human biocultural evolution that have contributed to healing behaviors: symbolic logic including language, complex social networks, and the long period of childhood that necessitates identifying and responding to others in distress. However, both biological and cultural evolution also have led to social context when empathy and consoling are impeded. Ultimately, by understanding the evolutionary processes shaping why humans psychologically do or do not heal one another, we can improve our current approaches in global mental health and uncover new opportunities to improve the treatment of mental illness across cultures and context around the world.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Mental Health , Attention , Emotions , Empathy , Humans , Mental Disorders/therapy
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