The feasibility of adapted group-based Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for the treatment of depression by community health workers within the context of task shifting in South Africa

SOURCE: Community Mental Health Journal
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2011
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Petersen, A.Bhana, K.Baillie
KEYWORDS: COMMUNITY PUBLIC HEALTH, HEALTH, HEALTH WORKERS, INTERPERSONAL THERAPY, MENTAL HEALTH
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6904

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Abstract

Within the context of a large treatment gap for depression and a scarcity of specialist resources, there is a need for task sifting to scale up mental health services to address this gap in South Africa. This study assessed the feasibility of an adapted manualized version of grouped based Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for use by supervised community health workers through a pilot study on 60 primary health care clinic users screened as having moderate to server depression. Retention was good and participants in the group-based IPT intervention showed significant reduction in depressive symptoms on completion of the 12-week intervention as well as 24 weeks post baseline compared to the control group. Qualitative process evaluation suggests that improved social support, individual coping skills and improved personal agency assisted in the reduction of depressive symptoms.