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On the night of December 26, 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, alone in her apartment on the rue Meslée in Paris, sat writing a letter to her publisher Joseph Johnson in London. “Once or twice, lifting my eyes from the paper, I have seen eyes glare through a glass-door opposite my chair, and bloody hands shook at me … I want to see something alive; death in so many frightful shapes has taken hold of my fancy.—I am going to bed—and, for the first time in my life, I cannot put out the candle.”1 She had crossed the Channel to witness the events in France, inspired by the revolutionaries’ attempt to create a more equal society along republican lines. But the silent streets as Louis XVI passed by on his way to trial, so dignified in the face of what she knew to be certain death, shocked her. Wollstonecraft was fierce in argument, quick to pass judgment, sensitive to injustice, but always keenly aware of the springs of human action.
The Emerald project's focus is on how to strengthen mental health systems in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda). This was done by generating evidence and capacity to enhance health system performance in delivering mental healthcare.
A common problem in scaling-up interventions and strengthening mental health programmes in LMICs is how to transfer research evidence, such as the data collected in the Emerald project, into practice.
To describe how core elements of Emerald were implemented and aligned with the ultimate goal of strengthening mental health systems, as well as their short-term impact on practices, policies and programmes in the six partner countries.
We focused on the involvement of policy planners, managers, patients and carers.
Over 5 years of collaboration, the Emerald consortium has provided evidence and tools for the improvement of mental healthcare in the six LMICs involved in the project. We found that the knowledge transfer efforts had an impact on mental health service delivery and policy planning at the sites and countries involved in the project.
This approach may be valid beyond the mental health context, and may be effective for any initiative that aims at implementing evidence-based health policies for health system strengthening.
Successful scale-up of integrated primary mental healthcare requires routine monitoring of key programme performance indicators. A consensus set of mental health indicators has been proposed but evidence on their use in routine settings is lacking.
To assess the acceptability, feasibility, perceived costs and sustainability of implementing indicators relating to integrated mental health service coverage in six South Asian (India, Nepal) and sub-Saharan African countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda).
A qualitative study using semi-structured key informant interviews (n = 128) was conducted. The ‘Performance of Routine Information Systems’ framework served as the basis for a coding framework covering three main categories related to the performance of new tools introduced to collect data on mental health indicators: (1) technical; (2) organisation; and (3) behavioural determinants.
Most mental health indicators were deemed relevant and potentially useful for improving care, and therefore acceptable to end users. Exceptions were indicators on functionality, cost and severity. The simplicity of the data-capturing formats contributed to the feasibility of using forms to generate data on mental health indicators. Health workers reported increasing confidence in their capacity to record the mental health data and minimal additional cost to initiate mental health reporting. However, overstretched primary care staff and the time-consuming reporting process affected perceived sustainability.
Use of the newly developed, contextually appropriate mental health indicators in health facilities providing primary care services was seen largely to be feasible in the six Emerald countries, mainly because of the simplicity of the forms and continued support in the design and implementation stage. However, approaches to implementation of new forms generating data on mental health indicators need to be customised to the specific health system context of different countries. Further work is needed to identify ways to utilise mental health data to monitor and improve the quality of mental health services.
Strengthening of mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) requires the involvement of appropriately skilled and committed individuals from a range of stakeholder groups. Currently, few evidence-based capacity-building activities and materials are available to enable and sustain comprehensive improvements.
Within the Emerald project, the goal of this study was to evaluate capacity-building activities for three target groups: (a) service users with mental health conditions and their caregivers; (b) policymakers and planners; and (c) mental health researchers.
We developed and tailored three short courses (between 1 and 5 days long). We then implemented and evaluated these short courses on 24 different occasions. We assessed satisfaction among 527 course participants as well as pre–post changes in knowledge in six LMICs (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda). Changes in research capacity of partner Emerald institutions was also assessed through monitoring of academic outputs of participating researchers and students and via anonymous surveys.
Short courses were associated with high levels of satisfaction and led to improvements in knowledge across target groups. In relation to institutional capacity building, all partner institutions reported improvements in research capacity for most aspects of mental health system strengthening and global mental health, and many of these positive changes were attributed to the Emerald programme. In terms of outputs, eight PhD students submitted a total of 10 papers relating to their PhD work (range 0–4) and were involved in 14 grant applications, of which 43% (n = 6) were successful.
The Emerald project has shown that building capacity of key stakeholders in mental health system strengthening is possible. However, the starting point and appropriate strategies for this may vary across different countries, depending on the local context, needs and resources.
Current coverage of mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is very limited, not only in terms of access to services but also in terms of financial protection of individuals in need of care and treatment.
To identify the challenges, opportunities and strategies for more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in six sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries, namely Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
In the context of a mental health systems research project (Emerald), a multi-methods approach was implemented consisting of three steps: a quantitative and narrative assessment of each country's disease burden profile, health system and macro-fiscal situation; in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders; and a policy analysis of sustainable financing options.
Key challenges identified for sustainable mental health financing include the low level of funding accorded to mental health services, widespread inequalities in access and poverty, although opportunities exist in the form of new political interest in mental health and ongoing reforms to national insurance schemes. Inclusion of mental health within planned or nascent national health insurance schemes was identified as a key strategy for moving towards more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in all six countries.
Including mental health in ongoing national health insurance reforms represent the most important strategic opportunity in the six participating countries to secure enhanced service provision and financial protection for individuals and households affected by mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization.
There is a large treatment gap for mental, neurological or substance use (MNS) disorders. The ‘Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)’ (Emerald) research programme attempted to identify strategies to work towards reducing this gap through the strengthening of mental health systems.
To provide a set of proposed recommendations for mental health system strengthening in LMICs.
The Emerald programme was implemented in six LMICs in Africa and Asia (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda) over a 5-year period (2012–2017), and aimed to improve mental health outcomes in the six countries by building capacity and generating evidence to enhance health system strengthening.
The proposed recommendations align closely with the World Health Organization's key health system strengthening ‘building blocks’ of governance, financing, human resource development, service provision and information systems; knowledge transfer is included as an additional cross-cutting component. Specific recommendations are made in the paper for each of these building blocks based on the body of data that were collected and analysed during Emerald.
These recommendations are relevant not only to the six countries in which their evidential basis was generated, but to other LMICs as well; they may also be generalisable to other non-communicable diseases beyond MNS disorders.
In most low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), routine mental health information is unavailable or unreliable, making monitoring of mental healthcare coverage difficult. This study aims to evaluate a new set of mental health indicators introduced in primary healthcare settings in five LMIC.
A survey was conducted among primary healthcare workers (n = 272) to assess the acceptability and feasibility of eight new indicators monitoring mental healthcare needs, utilisation, quality and payments. Also, primary health facility case records (n = 583) were reviewed by trained research assistants to assess the level of completion (yes/no) for each of the indicators and subsequently the level of correctness of completion (correct/incorrect – with incorrect defined as illogical, missing or illegible information) of the indicators used by health workers. Assessments were conducted within 1 month of the introduction of the indicators, as well as 6–9 months afterwards.
Across both time points and across all indicators, 78% of the measurements of indicators were complete. Among the best performing indicators (diagnosis, severity and treatment), this was significantly higher. With regards to correctness, 87% of all completed indicators were correctly completed. There was a trend towards improvement over time. Health workers' perceptions on feasibility and utility, across sites and over time, indicated a positive attitude in 81% of all measurements.
This study demonstrates high levels of performance and perceived utility for a set of indicators that could ultimately be used to monitor coverage of mental healthcare in primary healthcare settings in LMIC. We recommend that these indicators are incorporated into existing health information systems and adopted within the World Health Organization Mental Health Gap Action Programme implementation strategy.
Introduction: Access block is a pervasive problem, even during times of minimal boarding in the ED, suggesting suboptimal use of ED stretchers can contribute. A tracking board utility was embedded into the electronic health record in Calgary, AB, allowing MDs and RNs to consider patients who could be relocated from a stretcher to a chair. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the feature's impact on total stretcher time (TST) and ED length of stay (LOS) for patients relocated to a chair. We also sought to identify facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED MDs and RNs. Methods: A retrospective cohort design was used to compare TST between those where the tool was used and not used amongst patients relocated to a chair between September 1 2017 and August 15 2018. Each use of the location tool was time-stamped in an administrative database. Median TST and ED LOS were compared between patients where the tool was used and not used using a Mann-Whitney U Test. A cross sectional convenience sample survey was used to determine facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED staff. Response proportions were used to report Likert scale questions; thematic analysis was used to code themes. Results: 194882 patients met inclusion criteria. The tool was used 4301 times, with “Ok for Chairs” selected 3914(2%) times and “Not Ok for Chairs” selected 384(0.2%) times; 54462(30%) patients were moved to a chair without the tool's use. Mean age, sex, mode of arrival and triage scores were similar between both groups. Median (IQR) TST amongst patients moved to a chair via the prompt was shorter than when the prompt was not used [142.7 (100.5) mins vs 152.3 (112.3) mins, p < 0.001], resulting in 37574 mins of saved stretcher time. LOS was similar between both groups (p = 0.22). 125 questionnaires were completed by 90 ED nurses and 35 ED MDs. 95% of staff were aware of the tool and 70% agreed/strongly agreed the tool could improve ED flow; however, 38% reported only “sometimes” using the tool. MDs reported the most common barrier was forgetting to use the tool and lack of perceived action in relocating patients. Commonly reported nursing barriers were lack of chair space and increased workload. Conclusion: Despite minimal use of the tracking board utility, triggering was associated with reduced TST amongst ED patients eventually relocated to a chair. To encourage increased use, future versions should prompt staff to select a location.
Little is known about the household economic costs associated with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders in low- and middle-income countries.
To assess the association between MNS disorders and household education, consumption, production, assets and financial coping strategies in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional household survey in one district in each country, comparing the economic circumstances of households with an MNS disorder (alcohol-use disorder, depression, epilepsy or psychosis) (n = 2339) and control households (n = 1982).
Despite some heterogeneity between MNS disorder groups and countries, households with a member with an MNS disorder had generally lower levels of adult education; lower housing standards, total household income, effective income and non-health consumption; less asset-based wealth; higher healthcare expenditure; and greater use of deleterious financial coping strategies.
Households living with a member who has an MNS disorder constitute an economically vulnerable group who are susceptible to chronic poverty and intergenerational poverty transmission.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the World Health Organization.
Contextually appropriate interventions delivered by primary maternal care providers (PMCPs) might be effective in reducing the treatment gap for perinatal depression.
To compare high-intensity treatment (HIT) with low-intensity treatment (LIT) for perinatal depression.
Cluster randomised clinical trial, conducted in Ibadan, Nigeria between 18 June 2013 and 11 December 2015 in 29 maternal care clinics allocated by computed-generated random sequence (15 HIT; 14 LIT). Interventions were delivered individually to antenatal women with DSM-IV (1994) major depression by trained PMCPs. LIT consisted of the basic psychosocial treatment specifications in the World Health Organization Mental Health Gap Action Programme – Intervention Guide. HIT comprised LIT plus eight weekly problem-solving therapy sessions with possible additional sessions determined by scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The primary outcome was remission of depression at 6 months postpartum (EPDS < 6).
There were 686 participants; 452 and 234 in HIT and LIT arms, respectively, with both groups similar at baseline. Follow-up assessments, completed on 85%, showed remission rates of 70% with HIT and 66% with LIT: risk difference 4% (95% CI −4.1%, 12.0%), adjusted odds ratio 1.12 (95% CI 0.73, 1.72). HIT was more effective for severe depression (odds ratio 2.29; 95% CI 1.01, 5.20; P = 0.047) and resulted in a higher rate of exclusive breastfeeding. Infant outcomes, cost-effectiveness and adverse events were similar.
Except among severely depressed perinatal women, we found no strong evidence to recommend high-intensity in preference to low-intensity psychological intervention in routine primary maternal care.
Cancer-related drowsiness (CRD) is a distressing symptom in advanced cancer patients (ACP). The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and factors associated with severity of CRD. We also evaluated the screening performance of Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale-drowsiness (ESAS-D) item against the Epworth Sedation Scale (ESS).
We prospectively assessed 180 consecutive ACP at a tertiary cancer hospital. Patients were surveyed using ESAS, ESS, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Insomnia Severity Index, and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale.
Ninety of 150 evaluable patients had clinically significant CRD (ESS); median (interquartile ratio): ESS. 11 (7–14); ESAS-D. 5 (2–6); Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. 8 (5–11); Insomnia Severity Index. 13 (5–19); Stop Bang Scoring 3 (2–4), and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale-D 6 (3–10). ESAS-D was associated with ESAS (r, p) sleep (0.38, <0.0001); pain (0.3, <0.0001); fatigue (0.51, <0.0001); depression (0.39, <0.0001); anxiety (0.44, <0.0001); shortness of breath (0.32, <0.0001); anorexia (0.36, <0.0001), feeling of well-being [(0.41, <0.0001), ESS (0.24, 0.001), and opioid daily dose (0.19, 0.01). Multivariate-analysis showed ESAS-D was associated with fatigue (odds ratio [OR] = 9.08, p < 0.0001), anxiety (3.0, p = 0.009); feeling of well-being (OR = 2.27, p = 0.04), and insomnia (OR = 2.35; p = 0.036). Insomnia (OR = 2.35; p = 0.036) cutoff score ≥3 (of 10) resulted in a sensitivity of 81% and 32% and specificity of 70% and 44% in the training and validation samples, respectively.
Significance of results
Clinically significant CRD is frequent and seen in 50% of ACP. CRD was associated with severity of insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and worse feeling of well-being. An ESAS-D score of ≥3 is likely to identify most of the ACP with significant CRD.
Slender-body theory is utilized to derive an asymptotic approximation to the hydrodynamic drag on an axisymmetric particle that is held fixed in an otherwise uniform stream of an incompressible Newtonian fluid at moderate Reynolds number. The Reynolds number,
, is based on the length of the particle. The axis of rotational symmetry of the particle is collinear with the uniform stream. The drag is expressed as a series in powers of
is the small ratio of the characteristic width to length of the particle; the series is asymptotic for
. The drag is calculated through terms of
, thereby extending the work of Khayat & Cox (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 209, 1989, pp. 435–462) who determined the drag through
. The calculation of the
term is accomplished via the generalized reciprocal theorem (Lovalenti & Brady, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 256, 1993, pp. 561–605). The first dependence of the inertial contribution to the drag on the cross-sectional profile of the particle is at
. Notably, the drag is insensitive to the direction of travel at this order. The asymptotic results are compared to a numerical solution of the Navier–Stokes equations for the case of a prolate spheroid. Good agreement between the two is observed at moderately small values of
, which is surprising given the logarithmic error associated with the asymptotic expansion.
In his 1720 poem ‘To the Musick Club’ Allan Ramsay famously called upon an incipient Edinburgh Musical Society to elevate Scottish vernacular music by mixing it with ‘Correlli's soft Italian Song’, a metonym for pan-European art music. The Society's ensuing role in the gentrification of Scottish music – and the status of the blended music within the wider contexts of the Scottish Enlightenment and the forging of Scottish national identity – has received attention in recent scholarship. This article approaches the commingling of vernacular and pan-European music from an alternative perspective, focusing on the assimilation of Italian music, particularly the works of Arcangelo Corelli, into popular, quasi-oral traditions of instrumental music in Scotland and beyond. The case of ‘Mr Cosgill's Delight’, a popular tune derived from a gavotte from Corelli's Sonate da camera a tre, Op. 2, is presented as an illustration of this process. The mechanics of vernacularization are further explored through a cache of ornaments for Corelli's Sonate per violino e violone o cimbalo, Op. 5, by the Scottish professional violinists William McGibbon and Charles McLean. The study foregrounds the agency of working musicians dually immersed in elite and popular musical traditions, while shedding new light on McGibbon's significance as an early dual master of Italian and Scots string-playing traditions.
Introduction: EMS time factors such as total prehospital, activation, response, scene and transport intervals have been used as a measure of EMS system quality with the assumption that shorter EMS time factors save lives. The objective was to assess in adults and children accessing ground EMS (population), whether operational time factors (intervention and control) were associated with survival at hospital discharge (outcome). Methods: Medline, EMBASE, and CINAHL were searched up to January 2015 for articles reporting original data that associated EMS operational time factors and survival. Conference abstracts and non-English language articles were excluded. Two investigators independently assessed the candidate titles, abstracts, and full text with discrepant reviews resolved by consensus. Risk of bias was assessed using GRADE. Results: A total of 10,151 abstracts were screened for potential inclusion, 199 articles were reviewed in full-text, and 73 met inclusion criteria. Amongst included studies, 49 investigated response time, while 24 investigated other time factors. All articles were observational studies. Amongst the 14 (28.6%) studies where response time was the primary analysis, statistically significant associations between shorter response time and increased survival were found in 5 of 7 cardiac arrest, 1 of 5 general EMS population, and 0 of 2 trauma studies. Other time factors were reported in the primary analysis in 10 (41.7%) studies. One study reported shorter combined scene and transport intervals associated with increased survival in acute heart failure patients. Two studies in trauma patients had somewhat conflicting results with one study reporting shorter prehospital interval associated with increased survival whereas the other reported increased survival associated with longer scene and transport intervals. Study design, analysis, and methodological quality were of considerable variability, and thus, meta-analyses were not possible. Conclusion: There is a substantial body of literature describing the association between EMS time factors and survival, but evidence informing these relationships are heterogeneous and complex. Important details such as patient population, EMS system characteristics, and analytical approach must be taken into consideration to appropriately translate these findings to practice. These results will be important for EMS leaders wishing to create evidence-based time policies.
This analysis examines how the narrative self of a person with dementia is maintained by family members in a small rural Nova Scotian community. In the literature, the expectation is often that rurality is a condition of isolation, distance from family and limited health resources. However, drawing on three years of ethnographic and interviewing research with a large extended family whose patriarch, Alexander, is a person with dementia, we demonstrate how a community's rurality influences interpretations of dementia. In Alexander's rurality, of particular import are local definitions of belonging, which privilege intimate knowledge of local history, working as a farmer to shape the land, and being of Scottish descent and male. As family members find Alexander's belonging to come into question in their community, we show them to employ narratives in which he is valorised for continuing to uphold local values – of ‘usefulness’ and of ‘being the land’. We show how the family members must also revisit and revise these narratives when Alexander's belonging is further called into question outside the family setting and, specifically, at the local farmer's market, where Alexander is often no longer greeted by other marketgoers. The men and women of the family arrive at different interpretations of this development, with the women considering marketgoers to demean and dehumanise Alexander, while the men feel that the marketgoers are avoiding interactions that would embarrass him. Such disagreements reveal the ongoing emotional labour of creating narratives that lack closure, certainty and consensus, as well as ways in which gender and rurality operate intersectionally in the process of meaning-making.