Transdiagnostic Psychological Interventions for Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders Delivered by Non-specialist Providers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Eanna O hAnrachtaigh, Gary Brown, Andrew Beck, Rebecca Conway, Hattie Jones, Ioannis Angelakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a treatment gap for Common Mental Disorders (CMD)s such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as non-specific psychological distress (NPD) in low- and middle-income countries (LAMIC), due to the lack of available clinicians and locally appropriate interventions. Task-shifting using non-specialist providers (NSP) and transdiagnostic approaches may address this. Transdiagnostic approaches can be effective at treating CMDs and NPD in high income countries (HIC), but currently there is no comprehensive synthesis of evidence regarding their effectiveness in LAMICs. This review addressed this gap by examining the effectiveness of transdiagnostic psychological interventions for symptoms of CMDs and NPD delivered by NSP’s in LAMICs. Three databases were searched (Embase, PsycInfo and PubMed). Hedges g’s were calculated using random effect models to correct for small sample bias. 21 transdiagnostic interventions across 20 studies were included. Moderate reductions at post-treatment were found in psychological distress (g=−0.64; 95% CI: −0.81 to −0.46), and symptoms of anxiety (g=−0.61; 95% CI: −0.80 to −0.42), depression (g=−0.59; 95% CI: −0.75 to −0.44) and PTSD/trauma (g=−0.38; 95% CI: −0.59 to −0.16), with significant small reductions maintained at follow up ranging from 13 to 26 weeks for NPD (SMD = − 0.37; 95% CI: −0.57 to -0.17), depression (g=−0.38; 95% CI: −0.59 to −0.16) and trauma symptoms (g=−0.38; 95% CI: −0.59 to −0.16). These findings are important and suggest that transdiagnostic approaches delivered by NSP’s are effective at treating symptoms of CMDs and NPD in LAMICs. Future research should consider comparing task-shifting approaches with disorder-specific interventions and explore the effectiveness of longer sessions across various mental health conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Jun 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Transdiagnostic Psychological Interventions for Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders Delivered by Non-specialist Providers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this