260662 Impact of mental health training on village health workers to manage depression in rural India

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shreedhar Paudel, MBBS , Master of Public Health Program, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Nadege Gilles, MPH Graduate Student , Master of Public Health Program, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Craig Katz, MD , Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Medical Education, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Braden Hexom, MD, MPH , Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Sigrid Hahn, MD, MPH , Department of Emergency Medicine and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Background: Community health worker (CHW) programs are known to be effective means of promoting health of underserved communities. Depression is one of the major health issues globally and CHWs might potentially be useful to prevent and address mental health issues. Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) in India has recently trained village health workers (VHW) to identify, refer, and help people with mental health issues. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the mental health training program focusing on depression. Methods: Qualitative study was designed and five focus group discussions (FGD) with 4-6 members in each group were conducted among 70.5% (N=34) of the VHWs who underwent mental health training at CRHP. VHWs, all women, were selected based on convenience sampling. Verbatim transcription was done, data were de-identified, consensus themes were generated and the FGD results were analyzed qualitatively. Results: Four out of five groups were able to diagnose the presented case correctly as depression. VHWs were able to identify many symptoms and to suggest management options for clinical depression. Common management options identified by VHWs were referral to hospital, counseling, intake of medication, behavioral therapies and yoga classes, and addressing socio-cultural factors. VHWs showed supportive and empathetic attitudes toward depressed patients. Many VHWs had already helped patients with similar mental health problems. Conclusion: VHWs are likely to be useful at identifying and assisting people with depression in the rural communities of Jamkhed, India provided they receive ongoing training and supervision.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the potential role of community health workers to prevent and address mental health issues in resource poor communities. 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of mental health training to village health workers (VHW) provided by Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), India. 3. Assess knowledge, attitude, and behavior/practice of the VHWs who received mental health training at CRHP, regarding clinical depression.

Keywords: Public Mental Health, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a lead investigator for this student project and I have experience of working in significant number of research projects in the USA and abroad. I am interested in public health advocacy and global health besides the interest in the scientific studies which impact health of under-served communities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.