Allillanchu is a greeting term in Quechua, a Peruvian native language, which translates into “How are you? How are you feeling?” One of the project’s aims was to incorporate this concern for other people’s emotional wellbeing into primary health care routines. The project sought to make the assessment of patient’s mental health a common practice among primary health care providers (PHCP), specifically those who work with patients with an increased risk of suffering from mental disorders, such as pregnant women and patients with tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or hypertension.
The intervention consisted of a 9 week pilot with 22 primary health care providers who were first trained and then screened their patients for mental disorders using a screening app installed on tablets made available by the research team.
Key components of the intervention
Training of Primary Health Care Providers
The intervention provided tailored mental health training to 22 PHCP, covering the basic concepts of mental health, common mental disorders and co-morbidity with other health conditions, use of the screening app, and how to deliver results in a sensitive and motivational manner. The training sessions were designed in collaboration with a psychotherapist and University professor, based on formative research previously conducted by the research team and the revision of available literature. The methodology was expositive, using audiovisual resources; and participatory, using role-playing and practical exercises.
Mobile Health: Integrated Intervention
The mobile platform for this intervention involved:
- A mental health screening app, based on a Self Report Questionnaire (SRQ), which automatically calculated scores and provided guidelines to deliver the patients’ results and possible places of referral
- A web-based data platform which collected information from the screenings and allowed the research team to assess the progress of the intervention and to identify possible problems
- An SMS delivery app which automatically sent a set of reminder and motivational text messages to patients who screened positive for mental disorders, informed by the web based data platform