WHO guidance on mental health training: a systematic review of the progress for non-specialist health workers

Article


Caulfield, Alexandra, Vatansever, Deniz, Lambert, Gabriel and Van Bortell, T. 2019. WHO guidance on mental health training: a systematic review of the progress for non-specialist health workers. BMJ Open. 9 (1), p. e024059.
AuthorsCaulfield, Alexandra, Vatansever, Deniz, Lambert, Gabriel and Van Bortell, T.
Abstract

Objective To assess existing literature on the effectiveness of mental health training courses for non-specialist health workers, based on the WHO guidelines (2008).

Design A systematic review was carried out, complying with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist.

Data sources After examination of key studies in the literature, a comprehensive search was performed within the following electronic databases on 31 May 2017: PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL (using EBSCOHost interface), Cochrane, Web of Science.

Eligibility criteria Searches were conducted for articles published in English from January 2008 to May 2017, using search terms related to mental health, training, community care and evaluation/outcome, following the Participants, Interventions, Comparators and Outcomes process for evidence-based practice.

Outcomes Data were collected across the following categories: trainees (number and background), training course (curriculum, teaching method, length), evaluation method (timing of evaluation, collection method and measures assessed) and evaluation outcome (any improvement recorded from baseline). In addition, studies were assessed for their methodological quality using the framework established by Liu et al (2016).

Results 29 studies with relevant training courses met the inclusion criteria. These were implemented across 16 countries since 2008 (over half between 2014 and 2017), with 10 in three high-income countries. Evaluation methods and outcomes showed high variability across studies, with courses assessing trainees’ attitude, knowledge, clinical practice, skills, confidence, satisfaction and/or patient outcome. All 29 studies found some improvement after training in at least one area, and 10 studies found this improvement to be significant.

Conclusions Training non-specialist workers in mental healthcare is an effective strategy to increase global provision and capacity, and improves knowledge, attitude, skill and confidence among health workers, as well as clinical practice and patient outcome. Areas for future focus include the development of standardised evaluation methods and outcomes to allow cross-comparison between studies, and optimisation of course structure.

JournalBMJ Open
Journal citation9 (1), p. e024059
ISSN2044-6055
Year2019
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
Publisher's version
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024059
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024059
Publication dates
Print01 Feb 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Feb 2019
Accepted14 Nov 2018
Accepted14 Nov 2018
Copyright information© 2019 The authors
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