Mental health research priorities in low- and middle-income countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean


Sharan, P; Gallo, C; Gureje, O; Lamberte, E; Mari, JJ; Mazzotti, G; Patel, V; Swartz, L; Olifson, S; Levav, I; de Francisco, A; Saxena, S; World Hlth Org-Global Forum Hlth, R; (2009) Mental health research priorities in low- and middle-income countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The British journal of psychiatry, 195 (4). pp. 354-363. ISSN 0007-1250 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.108.050187

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Abstract

Background Studies suggest a paucity of and lack of prioritisation in mental health research from low- and middle-income (LAMI) countries. Aims To investigate research priorities in mental health among researchers and other stakeholders in LAMI countries. Method We used a two-stage design that included identification, through literature searches and snowball technique, of researchers and stakeholders in 114 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean; and a mail survey on priorities in research. Results The study identified broad agreement between researchers and stakeholders and across regions regarding research priorities. Epidemiology (burden and risk factors), health systems and social science ranked highest for type of research. Depression/anxiety, substance use disorders and psychoses; and children and adolescents, women, and people exposed to violence/trauma were prioritised among the disorders and population groups respectively. important criteria for prioritising research were burden of disease, social justice, and availability of funds. Stakeholder groups differed in the importance they gave to the personal interest of researchers as a criterion for prioritising research. Researchers' and stakeholders' priorities were consistent with burden of disease estimates, however suicide was underprioritised compared with its burden. Researchers' and stakeholders' priorities were also largely congruent with the researchers' projects. Conclusions The results of this first ever conducted survey of researchers and stakeholders regarding research priorities in mental health suggest that it should be possible to develop consensus at regional and international levels regarding the research agenda that is necessary to support health system objectives in LAMI countries.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: general medical journals, setting priorities, research investments, response rates, disorders, systems, policy, stakeholders, disease, burden
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Global Mental Health
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 19794206
Web of Science ID: 271069300014
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4563

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