Intervention

ARTICLE
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155--179

Supporting and Sustaining Nonspecialists to Deliver Mental Health Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Umbrella Review


Mary Bunn1, Nicole Gonzalez3, Idan Falek2, Stevan Weine1, Mary Acri2 
1 Department of Psychiatry, Center for Global Health, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
2 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
PhD, LCSW Mary Bunn
Department of Psychiatry, Center for Global Health, University of Illinois Chicago, 1601 West Taylor Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612
USA

This umbrella review used a systematic approach to examine the state of the evidence regarding the nonspecialist health worker (NSHW) workforce in mental health and psychosocial services in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Seventeen review articles were included in this analysis. Most reviews defined nonspecialists by their lack of formal mental health experience. Less than half of the reviews reported their qualifications and roles. Findings indicated that NSHWs were trained and supervised in a range of skills with variability in approaches, duration, format and topical focus. The evidence supporting NSHW-delivered interventions was mixed but mainly favourable, particularly for depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder; additionally, studies identified implementation challenges with the nonspecialist workforce. In conclusion, NSHWs are widely used in LMICs to address mental health needs and some indicators suggest the interventions they deliver are beneficial, yet little is known about their needs and requirements. Further work is needed to prioritise nonspecialists as a critical workforce in global mental health. This includes developing best practice models, new policies and investments and conducting further research.


How to cite this article:
Bunn M, Gonzalez N, Falek I, Weine S, Acri M. Supporting and Sustaining Nonspecialists to Deliver Mental Health Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Umbrella Review.Intervention 2021;19:155-179


How to cite this URL:
Bunn M, Gonzalez N, Falek I, Weine S, Acri M. Supporting and Sustaining Nonspecialists to Deliver Mental Health Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Umbrella Review. Intervention [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 13 ];19:155-179
Available from: https://www.interventionjournal.org/article.asp?issn=1571-8883;year=2021;volume=19;issue=2;spage=155;epage=179;aulast=Bunn;type=0