PRIME: A programme to reduce the treatment gap for mental disorders in five low and middle-income countries

Lund, C., Tomlinson, M., De Silva, M., Fekadu, A., Shidhaye, R., Jordans, M.J.D., Petersen, I., Bhana, A., Kigozi, F., Prince, M., Thornicroft G., Hanlon, C., Kakuma, R., McDaid, D., Saxena, S., Chisholm, S., Raja, S., Kippen-Wood, S., Honikman, S., Fairall, L. & Vikram Patel.

PLoS Medicine

Published on: 27 December 2012

Summary Points:

  • The majority of people living with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries do not receive the treatment that they need.
  • There is an emerging evidence base for cost-effective interventions, but little is known about how these interventions can be delivered in routine primary and maternal health care settings.
  • The aim of the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) is to generate evidence on the implementation and scaling up of integrated packages of care for priority mental disorders in primary and maternal health care contexts in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa, and Uganda.
  • PRIME is working initially in one district or sub-district in each country, and integrating mental health into primary care at three levels of the health system: the health care organisation, the health facility, and the community.
  • The programme is utilising the UK Medical Research Council complex interventions framework and the “theory of change” approach, incorporating a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and impact of these packages.
  • PRIME includes a strong emphasis on capacity building and the translation of research findings into policy and practice, with a view to reducing inequities and meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly women and people living in poverty

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