Human resources and models of mental healthcare integration into primary and community care in India: Case studies of 72 programmes
by Nadja van Ginneken, Meera S. Maheedhariah, Sarah Ghani, Jayashree Ramakrishna, Anusha Raja, Vikram PatelBackground
Given the scarcity of specialist mental healthcare in India, diverse community mental healthcare models have evolved. This study explores and compares Indian models of mental healthcare delivered by primary-level workers (PHW), and health workers’ roles within these. We aim to describe current service delivery to identify feasible and acceptable models with potential for scaling up.Methods
Seventy two programmes (governmental and non-governmental) across 12 states were visited. 246 PHWs, coordinators, leaders, specialists and other staff were interviewed to understand the programme structure, the model of mental health delivery and health workers’ roles. Data were analysed using framework analysis.Results
Programmes were categorised using an existing framework of collaborative and non-collaborative models of primary mental healthcare. A new model was identified: the specialist community model, whereby PHWs are trained within specialist programmes to provide community support and treatment for those with severe mental disorders. Most collaborative and specialist community models used lay health workers rather than doctors. Both these models used care managers. PHWs and care managers received support often through multiple specialist and non-specialist organisations from voluntary and government sectors. Many projects still use a simple yet ineffective model of training without supervision (training and identification/referral models).Discussion and conclusion
Indian models differ significantly to those in high-income countries—there are less professional PHWs used across all models. There is also intensive specialist involvement particularly in the community outreach and collaborative care models. Excessive reliance on specialists inhibits their scalability, though they may be useful in targeted interventions for severe mental disorders. We propose a revised framework of models based on our findings. The current priorities are to evaluate the comparative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and scalability of these models in resource-limited settings both in India and in other low- and middle- income countries.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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