Setting priorities for global mental health research

Tomlinson, M; Rudan, I; Saxena, S; Swartz, L; Tsai, AC; Patel, V; (2009) Setting priorities for global mental health research. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 87 (6). pp. 438-446. ISSN 0042-9686 DOI:

Text - Published Version

Download (630kB) | Preview


Objective To set investment priorities in global mental health research and to propose a more rational use of funds in this under-resourced and under-investigated area. Methods Members of the Lancet Mental Health Group systematically listed and scored research investment options on four broad classes of disorders: schizophrenia and other major psychotic disorders, major depressive disorder and other common mental disorders, alcohol abuse and other substance abuse disorders, and the broad class of child and adolescent mental disorders. Using the priority-setting approach of the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative, the group listed various research questions and evaluated them using the criteria of answerability, effectiveness, deliverability, equity and potential impact on persisting burden of mental health disorders. Scores were then weighted according to the system of values expressed by a larger group of stakeholders. Findings The research questions that scored highest were related to health policy and systems research, where and how to deliver existing cost-effective interventions in a low-resource context, and epidemiological research on the broad categories of child and adolescent mental disorders or those pertaining to alcohol and drug abuse questions. The questions that scored lowest related to the development of new interventions and new drugs or pharmacological agents, vaccines or other technologies. Conclusion In the context of global mental health and with a time frame of the next 10 years, it would be best to fill critical knowledge gaps by investing in research into health policy and systems, epidemiology and improved delivery of cost-effective interventions.

Item Type: Article
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: 19565122
Web of Science ID: 267097500010


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item