We evaluated the effectiveness of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) in reducing depressive symptoms, alcohol use disorder, food insecurity and underweight in people with schizophrenia. This cluster-randomised controlled trial was conducted in a rural district of Ethiopia. Fifty-four sub-districts were allocated in a 1:1 ratio to the facility-based care [FBC] plus CBR arm and the FBC alone arm. Lay workers delivered CBR over 12 months. We assessed food insecurity (self-reported hunger), underweight (BMI< 18.5 kg/m2), depressive symptoms (PHQ-9) and alcohol use disorder (AUDIT ≥ 8) at 6 and 12 months. Seventy-nine participants with schizophrenia in 24 sub-districts were assigned to CBR plus FBC and 87 participants in 24 sub-districts were assigned to FBC only. There was no evidence of an intervention effect on food insecurity (aOR 0.52, 95% CI 0.16-1.67; p = 0.27), underweight (aOR 0.44, 95% CI 0.17-1.12; p = 0.08), alcohol use disorder (aOR 0.82, 95% CI 0.24-2.74; p = 0.74) or depressive symptoms (adjusted mean difference - 0.06, 95% CI -1.35, 1.22; p = 0.92). Psychosocial interventions in low-resource settings should support access to treatment amongst people with schizophrenia, and further research should explore how impacts on economic, physical and mental health outcomes can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e70
JournalGlobal Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2023

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