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Perinatal depression and anxiety account for a high burden of perinatal morbidity and poor psychosocial functioning. There is a growing interest among mental health professionals, to devise interventions to prevent this condition. This review synthesizes evidence for the effectiveness of psychological and psychosocial interventions aimed at the prevention of perinatal depression and anxiety. We also explore qualitative evidence to understand the acceptability and feasibility of these interventions. Using a mixed-methods approach, data from a total of 21 studies were collated to inform the evidence for preventive interventions for perinatal depression and anxiety. Based on their theoretical orientations, these interventions were described by authors as cognitive-behavioral (n = 7); psychoeducational (n = 6); mindfulness (n = 2); and interpersonal psychotherapy (n = 2). These also included psychosocial approaches such as social support (n = 1) and multicomponent interventions (n = 3). For depressive symptoms, these interventions yielded moderate to strong effect sizes in favor of the intervention group [standardized mean difference (SMD) = −0.59; 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.95 to −0.23]. For anxiety symptoms, a strong effect size was estimated in favor of the intervention group (SMD = −1.43, 95% CI −2.22 to −0.65). Preventive interventions significantly reduce the severity of perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms. These interventions are also acceptable and feasible in many settings.
The study estimated service coverage for severe mental disorders (psychosis, bipolar disorder and moderate-severe depression), globally and regionally, using data collected from the Mental Health Atlas 2017.
Service coverage was defined as the proportion of people with a disorder contacting a mental health service among those estimated to have the disorder during a 12-month period. We drew upon 12-month service utilisation data from the Mental Health Atlas 2017. Expected prevalent cases of individual disorders were estimated using the disorder-specific prevalence rate estimates of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 and total population sizes. Methods for assessing the validity of country-reported service utilisation data were developed and applied.
From 177 countries, 50 countries provided reliable service coverage estimates for psychosis, along with 56 countries for bipolar disorder, and 65 countries for depression. The mean service coverage for psychosis was lowest in low- [10.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.3–30.4)] and lower middle-income countries [21.5% (95% CI 11.9–35.7)] and highest in high-income countries [59.5% (95% CI 42.9–74.1)]. Service coverage for bipolar disorder ranged between 3.1% (95% CI 0.8–11.5) and 10.4% (95% CI 6.7–15.8). Mean service coverage for moderate-severe depression ranged between 2.9% (95% CI 1.3–6.3) for low-income countries and 31.1% (95% CI 18.3–47.6) for high-income countries.
The reporting method utilised by the Mental Health Atlas appears to be reliable for psychosis but not for depression. This method of estimating service coverage provides progress in tracking an important indicator for mental health; however, it highlights that considerable work is needed to further develop global mental health information systems.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Reducing the global treatment gap for mental disorders requires treatments that are economical, effective and culturally appropriate.
To describe a systematic approach to the development of a brief psychological treatment for patients with severe depression delivered by lay counsellors in primary healthcare.
The treatment was developed in three stages using a variety of methods: (a) identifying potential strategies; (b) developing a theoretical framework; and (c) evaluating the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of the psychological treatment.
The Healthy Activity Program (HAP) is delivered over 6–8 sessions and consists of behavioral activation as the core psychological framework with added emphasis on strategies such as problem-solving and activation of social networks. Key elements to improve acceptability and feasibility are also included. In an intention-to-treat analysis of a pilot randomised controlled trial (55 participants), the prevalence of depression (Beck Depression Inventory II ⩾19) after 2 months was lower in the HAP than the control arm (adjusted risk ratio = 0.55, 95% CI 0.32–0.94, P = 0.01).
Our systematic approach to the development of psychological treatments could be extended to other mental disorders. HAP is an acceptable and effective brief psychological treatment for severe depression delivered by lay counsellors in primary care.
Depressive and anxiety disorders (common mental disorders) are the most common psychiatric condition encountered in primary healthcare.
To test the effectiveness of an intervention led by lay health counsellors in primary care settings (the MANAS intervention) to improve the outcomes of people with common mental disorders.
Twenty-four primary care facilities (12 public, 12 private) in Goa (India) were randomised to provide either collaborative stepped care or enhanced usual care to adults who screened positive for common mental disorders. Participants were assessed at 2, 6 and 12 months for presence of ICD-10 common mental disorders, the severity of symptoms of depression and anxiety, suicidal behaviour and disability levels. All analyses were intention to treat and carried out separately for private and public facilities and adjusted for the design. The trial has been registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00446407).
A total of 2796 participants were recruited. In public facilities, the intervention was consistently associated with strong beneficial effects over the 12 months on all outcomes. There was a 30% decrease in the prevalence of common mental disorders among those with baseline ICD-10 diagnoses (risk ratio (RR) = 0.70, 95% CI 0.53–0.92); and a similar effect among the subgroup of participants with depression (RR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.59–0.98). Suicide attempts/plans showed a 36% reduction over 12 months (RR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.42–0.98) among baseline ICD-10 cases. Strong effects were observed on days out of work and psychological morbidity, and modest effects on overall disability. In contrast, there was little evidence of impact of the intervention on any outcome among participants attending private facilities.
Trained lay counsellors working within a collaborative-care model can reduce prevalence of common mental disorders, suicidal behaviour, psychological morbidity and disability days among those attending public primary care facilities.
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