Evaluation of district mental healthcare plans: the PRIME consortium methodology

Mary J De Silva, Sujit D Rathod, Charlotte Hanlon, Erica Breuer, Dan Chisholm, Abebaw Fekadu, Mark Jordans, Fred Kigozi, Inge Petersen, Rahul Shidhaye, Girmay Medhin, Joshua Ssebunnya, Martin Prince, Graham Thornicroft, Mark Tomlinson, Crick Lund, Vikram Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundFew studies have evaluated the implementation and impact of real-world mental health programmes delivered at scale in low-resource settings.AimsTo describe the cross-country research methods used to evaluate district-level mental healthcare plans (MHCPs) in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda.MethodMultidisciplinary methods conducted at community, health facility and district levels, embedded within a theory of change.ResultsThe following designs are employed to evaluate the MHCPs: (a) repeat community-based cross-sectional surveys to measure change in population-level contact coverage; (b) repeat facility-based surveys to assess change in detection of disorders; (c) disorder-specific cohorts to assess the effect on patient outcomes; and (d) multilevel case studies to evaluate the process of implementation.ConclusionsTo evaluate whether and how a health-system-level intervention is effective, multidisciplinary research methods are required at different population levels. Although challenging, such methods may be replicated across diverse settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2015


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