Nagendra Prasad Luitel

Head of Research

Mr. Nagendra Prasad Luitel holds Masters’ degree in Population Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is a final year PhD candidate at University of Amsterdam the Netherlands, and doing his PhD on Integration of Mental Health into the Primary Health Care System in Nepal. Mr. Luitel has been working with Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Nepal, as a Research Manager since 2006. His major responsibilities at TPO Nepal included taking lead on overall planning, design and implementation of research projects; monitoring and supervision of field activities; maintaining appropriate liaison with national and international communities; dissemination of result and best practices among relevant stakeholders using various communication tools as relevant; and advocate for the implementation of research recommendation in policy and plans. Over the past years, Mr. Luitel has co-lead large scale mental health research projects with experts on global mental health. These research projects have contributed towards assessing mental health problems and service needs among people affected by conflict and other humanitarian emergencies which are important for program development. He has also contributed to the development, adaptation, and contextualization of mental health instruments for their implementation in Nepal to improve the validity of these epidemiological studies. Mr. Luitel’s research projects have also focused on developing packages of care that can be used by paraprofessionals, teachers, community health workers, primary care workers, and others who are not specialists in psychology or psychiatry. In addition to developing packages of care, another central component of his work is evaluating barriers to delivery of these packages of care and challenges to scaling up mental health services. The results and best practices generated by these research programs have been used widely in policies, treatment protocols and guidelines, and training materials by the Ministry of Health & Population. He is co-author in more than 65 papers in the international peer-reviewed journals.

Current Projects

Developing and testing the feasibility of a sports-based intervention to improve mental wellbeing and prevent depression among adolescents in Nepal: a community engagement approach – MRC UK, 2020 – 2023

Role – Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)    

ENHANCE: Scaling-up Care for Perinatal Depression through Technological Enhancements to the ‘Thinking Healthy Programme’. Grant/NIHR UK, 2020 – 2024

Role: Co-Investigator

E-MhGAP Intervention guide in low and middle income countries for impact and Acceptability (Emilia Project). MRC/KCL 2018-2021

Role: Co-Investigator /Country PI

Enabling translation of Science to Service to ENhance Depression CarE (ESSENCE). National Institutes of Health, 2017-2022

Role: Country PI

Group Interpersonal psychotherapy for depression and anxiety among adolescents

The goal of this project is adaptation, contextualization and assessing feasibility of implementation of group interpersonal psychotherapy among adults in Nepal . MRC/KCL Global Mental Health Research, 2018-2020                 

Role: Co-Investigator


Sangraula, M., Turner, E. L., Luitel, N. P., van ‘t Hof, E., Shrestha, P., Ghimire, R., . . . Jordans, M. J. D. (2020). Feasibility of Group Problem Management Plus (PM+) to improve mental health and functioning of adults in earthquake-affected communities in Nepal. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci, 29, e130. doi:10.1017/s2045796020000414

Aldridge, L. R., Garman, E. C., Luitel, N. P., & Jordans, M. J. D. (2020). Impact of a district mental health care plan on suicidality among patients with depression and alcohol use disorder in Nepal. PLoS One, 15(4), e0231158. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0231158

 Van’t Hof, E., Sangraula, M., Luitel, N. P., Turner, E. L., Marahatta, K., van Ommeren, M., . . . Jordans, M. J. D. (2020). Effectiveness of Group Problem Management Plus (Group-PM+) for adults affected by humanitarian crises in Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials, 21(1), 343. doi:10.1186/s13063-020-04263-9

Rajan, S., Rathod, S. D., Luitel, N. P., Murphy, A., Roberts, T., & Jordans, M. J. D. (2020). Healthcare utilization and out-of-pocket expenditures associated with depression in adults: a cross-sectional analysis in Nepal. BMC Health Serv Res, 20(1), 250. doi:10.1186/s12913-020-05094-9

Upadhaya, N., Regmi, U., Gurung, D., Luitel, N. P., Petersen, I., Jordans, M. J. D., & Komproe, I. H. (2020). Mental health and psychosocial support services in primary health care in Nepal: perceived facilitating factors, barriers and strategies for improvement. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), 64. doi:10.1186/s12888-020-2476-x

Chisholm, D., Garman, E., Breuer, E., Fekadu, A., Hanlon, C., Jordans, M., Luitel NP, . . . Lund, C. (2020). Health service costs and their association with functional impairment among adults receiving integrated mental health care in five low- and middle-income countries: the PRIME cohort study. Health Policy and Planning. doi:10.1093/heapol/czz182

Kohrt, B. A., Turner, E. L., Rai, S., Bhardwaj, A., Sikkema, K. J., Adelekun, A., Luitel NP . . . Jordans, M. J. D. (2020). Reducing mental illness stigma in healthcare settings: Proof of concept for a social contact intervention to address what matters most for primary care providers. Soc Sci Med, 250, 112852. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112852

Luitel NP, German EC, Jordans MJD, Lund C (2019) Change in treatment coverage and barriers to mental health care among adults with depression and alcohol use disorder: a repeat cross sectional community survey in Nepal. BMC Public Health volume 19, Article number: 1350

Jordans, M. J. D., Luitel, N. P., Kohrt, B. A., Rathod, S. D., Garman, E. C., De Silva, M., . . . Lund, C. (2019). Community-, facility-, and individual-level outcomes of a district mental healthcare plan in a low-resource setting in Nepal: A population-based evaluation. PLoS Med, 16(2), e1002748. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002748

Jha, A. K., Ojha, S. P., Dahal, S., Sharma, P., Pant, S. B., Labh, S., . . Luitel NP, Dhimal, M. (2019). Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Nepal: Findings from the Pilot Study. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council, 17(2), 141-147. doi:10.33314/jnhrc.v0i0.196

Breuer E, Hanlon C, Bhana A, Chishom D, Silva MD, Honikman S, Jordans M, Kathree T, Kigozi F, Luitel NP, Marx M….. Lund C (2019) Partnerships in a global mental health research Programme—the example of prime. Global Social Welfare Volume 3, Issue 6, page 159-175

 Breuer, E., Subba, P., Luitel, N., Jordans, M., De Silva, M., Marchal, B., & Lund, C. (2018). Using qualitative comparative analysis and theory of change to unravel the effects of a mental health intervention on service utilisation in Nepal. BMJ Glob Health, 3(6), e001023. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001023

Jordans, M. J. D., Luitel, N. P., Garman, E., Kohrt, B. A., Rathod, S. D., Shrestha, P., . . . Patel, V. (2019). Effectiveness of psychological treatments for depression and alcohol use disorder delivered by community-based counsellors: two pragmatic randomised controlled trials within primary healthcare in Nepal. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1-9. doi:10.1192/bjp.2018.300

Kohrt, B. A., Mutamba, B. B., Luitel, N. P., Gwaikolo, W., Onyango Mangen, P., Nakku, J., . . . Baingana, F. (2019). How competent are non-specialists trained to integrate mental health services in primary care? Global health perspectives from Uganda, Liberia, and Nepal. International Review of Psychiatry, 1-17

Sangraula, M., Van’t Hof, E., Luitel, N. P., Turner, E. L., Marahatta, K., Nakao, J. H., . . . Kohrt, B. A. (2018). Protocol for a feasibility study of group-based focused psychosocial support to improve the psychosocial well-being and functioning of adults affected by humanitarian crises in Nepal: Group Problem Management Plus (PM+). Pilot Feasibility Stud, 4, 126. doi:10.1186/s40814-018-0315-3

Rathod, SD, Luitel, NP, & Jordans, MJD. (2018). Prevalence and correlates of alcohol use in a central Nepal district: secondary analysis of a population-based cross-sectional study. Glob Ment Health (Camb), 5, e37. doi:10.1017/gmh.2018.28

Chase, LE, Marahatta K, Sidgel K, Shrestha S, Gautam K, Luitel NP, Dotel BR, Samuel R, (2018) Building back better? Taking stock of the post-earthquake mental health and psychosocial response in Nepal. International journal of mental health systems, Volum 12, Issue 1, page 44

Rathod SD, Robert Tessa, Medhin G, Murhar V, Samudre S, Luitel NP, Selohilwe, O…..Shidhaya, R (2018) Detection and treatment initiation for depression and alcohol use disorders: facility-based cross-sectional studies in five low-income and middle-income country districts BMJ Open, Volum 8, Issue 10, e023421

Hendrickson ZM, Kim J, Tol, WA, Shrestha A, Kafle HM, Luitel NP, Thapa L, Surkan PJ (2018) Resilience among Nepali widows after the death of a spouse: “That was my past and now I have to see my present” Qualitative health research Volum 28, Issue 3, Pages 466-478

Burkey MD, Adhikari RP, Ghimire L, Kohrt BA, Wissow LS, Luitel NP, Haroz EE, Jordans MJD (2018) Validation of a cross-cultural instrument for child behavior problems: the Disruptive Behavior International Scale–Nepal version BMC psychology Volum 6, Issue 1, page 51

Baron, E. C., Rathod, S. D., Hanlon, C., Prince, M., Fedaku, A., Kigozi, F. Luitel NP, . . . De Silva, M. (2018). Impact of district mental health care plans on symptom severity and functioning of patients with priority mental health conditions: the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) cohort protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 18(1), 61

Breuer, E., Subba, P., Luitel, N., Jordans, M., De Silva, M., Marchal, B., & Lund, C. (2018). Using qualitative comparative analysis and theory of change to unravel the effects of a mental health intervention on service utilisation in Nepal. BMJ Glob Health, 3(6),

Subba P, Luitel NP, Kohrt BA and Jordans MJD et al (2017). Improving detection of mental health problems in community settings in Nepal: development and pilot testing of the community informant detection tool. Conflict and Health, 11, 28

Jordans, M. J. D., Aldridge, L., Luitel, N. P., Baingana, F., & Kohrt, B. A. (2017). Evaluation of outcomes for psychosis and epilepsy treatment delivered by primary health care workers in Nepal: a cohort study. Int J Ment Health Syst, 11, 70

Luitel NP, Jordans MJD, Kohrt BA, Rathod SD, Komproe IH: Treatment gap and barriers for mental health care: A cross-sectional community survey in Nepal. PloS one 2017, 12(8):e0183223

Jordans MJ, Kohrt BA, Luitel NP, Lund C, Komproe IH: Proactive community case-finding to facilitate treatment seeking for mental disorders, Nepal. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2017, 95(7):531-536

Kim, J., Tol, W. A., Shrestha, A., Kafle, H. M., Rayamajhi, R., Luitel, N. P., . . . Surkan, P. J. (2017). Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder and Culture: Early and Prolonged Grief in Nepali Widows. Psychiatry, 80(1), 1-16

Jordans M, Rathod SD, Fekadu A,  Medhin G, Kigozi F, Kohrt BA,  Luitel N,  Petersen et al (2017). Suicidal ideation and behaviour among community and health care seeking populations in five low- and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study.  Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, doi:10.1017/S2045796017000038

Kane JC, Luitel NP, Jordans MJ, Kohrt BA, Weissbecker I, Tol WA (2017). Mental health and psychosocial problems in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquakes: findings from a representative cluster sample survey. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2017:1-10

Kohrt B, Luitel NP, Acharya P, Jordans MJD (2016) Detection of depression in low resource settings: validation of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and cultural concepts of distress in Nepal. BMC Psychiatry (2016) 16:58

Rathod SD, De Silva MJ, Ssebunnya J, Breuer E, Murhar V, Luitel NP, et al. Treatment Contact Coverage for Probable Depressive and Probable Alcohol Use Disorders in Four Low- and Middle-Income Country Districts: The PRIME Cross-Sectional Community Surveys. PloS one. 2016;11(9):e0162038.

Kohrt BA, Worthman CM, Adhikari RP, Luitel NP, Arevalo JM, Ma J, et al. Psychological resilience and the gene regulatory impact of posttraumatic stress in Nepali child soldiers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016;113(29):8156-61

Acharya B, Maru D, Schwarz R, Citrin D, Tenpa J, Hirachan S, Luitel NP et al. Partnerships in mental healthcare service delivery in low-resource settings: developing an innovative network in rural Nepal. Globalization and health. 2017;13(1):2.

Baron EC, Hanlon C, Mall S, Honikman S, Breuer E, Kathreen T, Luitel NP. Nakku J et al (2016) Maternal mental health in primary care in five low- and middle-income countries: a situational analysis.  BMC Health Services Research (2016) 16:53

Kohrt B, Jordans MJD, Rai S, Shrestha P, Luitel NP, Ramaiya MK, Singla DR, Patel V (2015). Therapist competence in global mental health: Development of the ENhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic factors (ENACT) rating scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy (2015) 11-21

Jordans MJD, Kohrt BA, Luitel NP, Komproe IH, Lund C (2015). Accuracy of proactive case finding for mental disorders by community informants in Nepal. The British Journal of Psychiatry 207(6):501-6

Jordans MJD, Luitel NP, Pokhrel P, Patel V (2015) Development and pilot testing of a mental healthcare plan in Nepal. The British Journal of Psychiatry DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153718

Makan A, Fekadu A, Murhar V, Luitel NP, Kathree T, Ssebunaya J, Lund C (2015) Stakeholder analysis of the Programme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME): baseline findings. Int J Ment Health Syst (2015) 9:27

Chisholm D, Burman-Roy S, Fekadu A, Kathree T, Kizza D, Luitel NP, Petersen I, Shidhaye R et al (2015) Estimating the cost of implementing district mental healthcare plans in five low- and middle-income countries: the PRIME study. The British Journal of Psychiatry s1–s8. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153866

Luitel NP, Jordans MJD, Adhikari A, Upadhaya N et al (2015). Mental Health Care in Nepal: Current Situation and Challenges for Development of a District Mental Health Care Plan. Conflict and Health 6;9

Adhikari R, Upadhaya N, Gurung D, Luitel NP, Bukery MD, Kohrt BA, Jordans MJD (2015). Perceived behavioural problems of school aged children in rural Nepal: a qualitative study. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health 9:25.

Adhikari R, Kohrt BA, Luitel NP, Upadhaya N, Gurung D, Jordans MJD (2014). Protective and risk factors of psychosocial wellbeing related to the reintegration of former child soldiers in Nepal, Intervention 12, (3), 367 – 378

Jordans MJD, Kaufman A, Brenman NF, Adhikari RP, Luitel NP, Tol WA, Komproe I (2014). Suicide in South Asia:  scoping review. BMC Psychiatry (2014) 14:358

Upadhaya N, Luitel NP, Koirala S et al (2014). the role of mental health and psychosocial support in nongovernmental organizations: reflections from post conflict Nepal, Intervention, 12, Supplement 1, 113 – 128

Brenman N, Luitel NP, Mall S, Jordans MJD (2014).  Demand and access to mental health services: a qualitative formative study in Nepal. BMC International Health and Human Rights 2014 14:22

Kohrt B, Upadhaya N, Luitel N, Maharjan SM, Kaiser BN, MacFarlane E, Khan N (2014).  Authorship in Global Mental Health Research: Recommendations for Collaborative Approaches to Writing and Publishing, Annals of Global Health (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2014.04.007.

Mendenhall E, Silva MD, Hanlon C, Petersen I, Shidhaye R, Jordans M, Luitel NP, Ssebunnya Ji et al (2014). Acceptability and feasibility of using non-specialist health workers to deliver mental health care: Experiences from the PRIME district sites in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa, and Uganda. Social Science and Medicines 118 (2014) 33-42

Breuer E, De Shilva M, Abebaw Fekadu, Luitel NP, Murhar V et al (2014). Using workshops to develop Theories of Change in five low and middle income countries: lessons from the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME, International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2014, 8:15 doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-8-15

Hanlon C, Luitel  NP, Kathree T, Murhar V, Shrivasta S, et al: Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Integrated Mental Health Care: A District Level Situation Analysis from Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries. PLoS ONE  2014, 9(2): e88437. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088437

Jordans MJD, Luitel NP, Tomlinson M, Komproe IH (2013), Setting priorities for mental health care in Nepal: a formative study. BMC Psychiatry 2013 13:332.

Jordans MJD, Tol WA, Susanty D, Ntamatumba P, Luitel NP, et al. (2013) Implementation of a Mental

Health Care Package for Children in Areas of Armed Conflict: A Case Study from Burundi, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. PLoS Med 10(1): e1001371. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001371

Luitel NP, Jordans MJD, Murphy A, Roberts R, & McCambridge J (2013). Prevalence and patterns of hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption assessed using the AUDIT among Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Alcohol and Alcoholism Vol. 0, No. 0, pp. 1–7, 2013

Reiffers R; Dahal RP; Koirala S; Gerritzen R; Upadhaya N; Luitel NP et al (2013). Psychosocial support system for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Intervention 2013,Volume 0, Number 0, Page 1 – 11

Luitel NP, Jordans MJD, Sapkota RP, Tol WA et al (2012). Conflict and Mental Health: Cross Sectional Epidemiological Study in Nepal, Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2013) 48:183–193

Jordans MJD, Luitel NP, Poudyal B, Tol WA, Komproe IH (2012). Evaluation of a brief training on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies: a pre- and post-assessment in Nepal. Pre-hospital Disaster Med 27 (3):1-4

 Kohrt BA, Jordans MJD, Tol WA, Luitel NP, Maharjan SM, Upadhaya N (2011). Validation of cross-cultural child mental health and psychosocial research instruments: adapting the Depression Self-Rating Scale and Child PTSD Symptom Scale in Nepal.  BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:127 doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-11-127

Thomas FC, Roberts B, Luitel NP, Upadhaya N and Tol WA (2011).  Resilience of refugees displaced in the developing world: a qualitative analysis of strengths and struggles of urban refugees in Nepal. Conflict and Health 5:20 doi: 10.1186/1752-1505-5-20

Ghimire L, Smith WCS, Teijlingen ERV, Dahal S, Luitel NP (2011). Reasons for non- use of condoms and self- efficacy among female sex workers: a qualitative study in Nepal. BMC Women’s Health 2011, 11:42 doi: 10.1186/1472-6874-11-42

Jordans MJD, Komproe IH, Tol WA, Kohrt BA, Luitel NP, Macy R, De Jong, Joop T.V.M (2010). Evaluation of a Classroom-based Psychosocial Intervention in Conflict-Affected Nepal: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial, The Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02209.

Contact Details:


Telephone number(s): 014431717 (Off) 9841333725 (mobile)

Social Media details:

Skype: nagendraluitel.