Authors: Roxanne C Keynejad, Tarun Dua, Corrado Barbui and Graham Thornicroft
Despite mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders being highly prevalent, there is a worldwide gap between service need and provision. WHO launched its Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) in 2008, and the Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) in 2010. mhGAP-IG provides evidence-based guidance and tools for assessment and integrated management of priority MNS disorders in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), using clinical decision-making protocols. It targets a non-specialised primary healthcare audience, but has also been used by ministries, non-governmental organisations and academics, for mental health service scale-up in 90 countries. This review aimed to identify evidence to date for mhGAP-IG implementation in LMICs.
We conducted a systematic review of evidence to date, of mhGAP-IG implementation and evaluation in LMICs. 33 included studies reported:
- 15 training courses
- 9 clinical implementations
- 3 country contextualisations
- 3 economic models
- 2 uses as control interventions
- 1 use to develop a rating scale.
Our review identified the importance of detailed reports of contextual challenges in the field, alongside detailed protocols, qualitative studies and randomised controlled trials.
The mhGAP-IG literature is substantial, relative to other published evaluations of clinical practice guidelines: an important contribution to a neglected field.