Developing knowledge-based psychotherapeutic competencies in non-specialist providers: A pre-post study with a nested randomized controlled trial of a coach-supported versus self-guided digital training course for a problem-solving psychological intervention in India

Sonal Mathur, Helen A. Weiss, Melissa Neuman, Andy P. Field, Baptiste Leurent, Tejaswi Shetty, E. J. James, Pooja Nair, Rhea Mathews, Kanika Malik, Daniel Michelson, Vikram Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We evaluated a digital learning programme to train non-specialists with the goal to develop knowledge-based competencies for a problem-solving intervention for adolescents to examine the overall impact of training on knowledge-based competencies among learners; and to compare the effects of two different training conditions (self-guided digital training with or without coaching) in a nested parallel, two-arm, individually randomised controlled trial. Eligible participants were aged 18 years or older; fluent in Hindi or English; able to access digital training; and had no prior experience of delivering structured psychotherapies. A total of 277 participants were enrolled from 31st March 2022 to 19th June 2022 of which 230 (83%) completed the study. There was a significant increase in competency score from pre-training (Mean=7.01, SD=3.29) to post-training (Mean=8.88, SD=3.80), 6 weeks after the pre-training assessment. Knowledge competency scores showed a larger increase among participants who were randomised to the coaching arm (AMD=1.09, 95% CI 0.26-1.92, p=0.01) with an effect size (d) of 0.33 (95% CI 0.08-0.58). More participants completed training in the coaching arm (n=96, 69.6%) compared to the self-guided training arm (n=56, 40.3%). In conclusion, a coach-supported remote digital training intervention is associated with enhanced participation by learners and increased psychotherapeutic knowledge competencies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Mental Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Nov 2023

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