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This study aimed to identify nurses’ views on influenza vaccination and factors that might explain why they do not receive influenza vaccinations, and to examine any ethical issues encountered in the vaccination process.
All 27 European Union member states and 2 other European countries recommended influenza vaccinations for healthcare workers in 2014–15. Data show that the influenza vaccination rate among nurses in Slovenia is even lower than in other European countries. Slovenian study showed that 41.7% of the respondents had received both the pandemic and the seasonal vaccine. Doctors had the highest level of vaccine coverage, with 44.1%, followed by registered nurses at 23.4%, whereas the lowest level was found among nursing assistants and nursing technicians (17%) at a Ljubljana health clinic.
A qualitative study was carried out. Nineteen nurses who did not receive influenza vaccination took part in the study. Thematic interviews were conducted in December 2018. Interview transcripts were read, coded, reviewed and labelled by three independent researchers. The collected material was processed using qualitative content analysis.
Thirteen categories and four themes were identified and coded, which enabled an understanding of the nurses’ views regarding influenza vaccination. Most of their experiences were positive in one way: they recognised the importance of vaccination and people’s awareness of it. However, they did not obtain the influenza vaccine themselves. The main barriers to vaccination were doubt regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness, the potential for side effects, the belief that young healthcare professionals are well protected and not at high risk, an overrated trust in their own immune systems, and the belief that pharmaceutical industry marketing was targeting them. The nurses suggested several ways that vaccination could be promoted and improved vaccination coverage achieved. These findings call attention to the importance of recognising both the need for targeted information for the nurses and the need for different approaches to healthcare provision.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has been used successfully across diverse cultural settings. However, a recent study found poor validity in detecting postnatal common mental disorders (CMD) in rural Ethiopia. Using similar methodology, the study was replicated in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Semantic, content and criterion validity of EPDS, Kessler scale-6 (K6) and Kessler scale-10 (K10) were assessed in postnatal women attending vaccination clinics. Criterion validation was undertaken on 100 postnatal women, with local psychiatrist diagnosis of CMD using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS) as the criterion measure.
The areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUROC) curve for the EPDS, K6 and K10 were 0.85 (95%CI 0.77–0.92), 0.86 (95%CI 0.76–0.97) and 0.87 (95%CI 0.78–0.97), respectively. The EPDS generated sensitivity, specificity and misclassification rates of 78.9%, 75.3% and 24.0%, respectively at an optimal cut-off point of 6/7. The corresponding values for the K6 were 84.2%, 82.7% and 17.0% at a cut-off point of 4/5, and for K10 were 84.2%, 77.8% and 21.0% at a cut-off point of 6/7, respectively. The internal reliability Cronbach's alpha for the EPDS, K6 and K10 were 0.71, 0.86 and 0.90, respectively.
Not all postnatal women bring their infants to vaccination clinics which may limit generalisability.
The EPDS, K6 and K10 all demonstrated acceptable clinical utility as screening scales for postnatal CMD in an urban setting in Ethiopia. The marked urban-rural difference in EPDS performance within Ethiopia highlights the difficulty of applying urban-validated instruments to rural settings in LAMIC.
Cross-sectional studies show that the prevalence of comorbid depression in people with tuberculosis (TB) is high. The hypothesis that TB may lead to depression has not been well studied. Our objectives were to determine the incidence and predictors of probable depression in a prospective cohort of people with TB in primary care settings in Ethiopia.
We assessed 648 people with newly diagnosed TB for probable depression using Patient Health Questionnaire, nine-item (PHQ-9) at the time of starting their anti-TB medication. We defined PHQ-9 scores 10 and above as probable depression. Participants without baseline probable depression were assessed at 2 and 6 months to measure incidence of depression. Incidence rates per 1000-person months were calculated. Predictors of incident depression were identified using Poisson regression.
Two hundred and ninety-nine (46.1%) of the participants did not have probable depression at baseline. Twenty-two (7.4%) and 26 (8.7%) developed depression at 2 and 6 months of follow up. The incidence rate of depression between baseline and 2 months was 73.6 (95% CI 42.8–104.3) and between baseline and 6 months was 24.2 (95% CI 14.9–33.5) per 1000 person-months respectively. Female sex (adjusted β = 0.22; 95% CI 0.16–0.27) was a risk factor and perceived social support (adjusted β = −0.14; 95% CI −0.24 to −0.03) was a protective factor for depression onset.
There was high incidence of probable depression in people undergoing treatment for newly diagnosed TB. The persistence and incidence of depression beyond 6 months need to be studied. TB treatment guidelines should have mental health component.
Although much research has focused on socio-demographic determinants of uptake of contraception, few have studied the impact of poor mental health on women's reproductive behaviours. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of poor mental health on women's unmet need for contraception and fertility rate in a low-income country setting.
A population-based cohort of 1026 women recruited in their third trimester of pregnancy in the Butajira district in rural Ethiopia was assessed for symptoms of antenatal common mental disorders (CMDs; depression and anxiety) using Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20. Women were followed up regularly until 6.5 years postnatal (between 2005 and 2012). We calculated unmet need for contraception at 1 year (n = 999), 2.5 (n = 971) and 3.5 years (n = 951) post-delivery of index child and number of pregnancies during study period. We tested the association between CMD symptoms, unmet need for contraception and fertility rate.
Less than one-third of women reported current use of contraception at each time point. Unmet need for birth spacing was higher at 1 year postnatal, with over half of women (53.8%) not using contraception wanting to wait 2 or more years before becoming pregnant. Higher CMD symptoms 1 year post-index pregnancy were associated with unmet need for contraception at 2.5 years postnatal in the unadjusted [odds ratio (OR) 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.15] and fully adjusted model [OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.01–1.12]. During the 6.5 year cohort follow-up period, the mean number of pregnancies per woman was 2.4 (s.d. 0.98). There was no prospective association between maternal CMD and number of pregnancies in the follow-up period.
CMD symptoms are associated with increased unmet need for family planning in this cohort of women with high fertility and low contraceptive use in rural Ethiopia. There is a lack of models of care promoting integration of mental and physical health in the family planning setting and further research is necessary to study the burden of preconception mental health conditions and how these can be best addressed.
There have been no studies from low- or middle-income countries to investigate the long-term impact of perinatal common mental disorders (CMD) on child educational outcomes.
To test the hypothesis that exposure to antenatal and postnatal maternal CMD would be associated independently with adverse child educational outcomes in a rural Ethiopian.
A population-based birth cohort was established in 2005/2006. Inclusion criteria were: age between 15 and 49 years, ability to speak Amharic, in the third trimester of pregnancy and resident of the health demographic surveillance site. One antenatal and nine postnatal maternal CMD assessments were conducted using a self-reporting questionnaire, validated for the local use. Child educational outcomes were obtained from the mother at T1 (2013/2014 academic year; mean age 8.5 years) and from school records at T2 (2014/2015 academic year; mean age 9.3 years).
Antenatal CMD (risk ratio (RR) = 1.06, 95% CI 1.05–1.07) and postnatal CMD (RR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.06–1.09) were significantly associated with child absenteeism at T2. Exposure to repeatedly high maternal CMD scores in the preschool period was not associated with absenteeism after adjusting for antenatal and postnatal CMD. Non-enrolment at T1 (odds ratio 0.75, 95% CI 0.62–0.92) was significantly but inversely associated with postnatal maternal CMD. There was no association between maternal CMD and child academic achievement or drop-out.
Our findings support the hypothesis of a critical period for exposure to maternal CMD for adverse child outcomes and indicate that programmes to enhance regular school attendance in low-income countries need to address perinatal maternal CMD.
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.
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.