A community health volunteer delivered problem-solving therapy mobile application based on the Friendship Bench ‘Inuka Coaching’ in Kenya:A pilot cohort study

Doukani, Asmae and van Dalen, Robin and Valev, Hristo and Njenga, Annie and Sera, Francesco and Chibanda, Dixon (2021) A community health volunteer delivered problem-solving therapy mobile application based on the Friendship Bench ‘Inuka Coaching’ in Kenya:A pilot cohort study. Global Mental Health, 8. pp. 1-11. ISSN 2054-4251

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Abstract

Background Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the largest care gap for common mental disorders (CMDs) globally, heralding the use of cost-cutting approaches such as task-shifting and digital technologies as viable approaches for expanding the mental health workforce. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a problem-solving therapy (PST) intervention that is delivered by community health volunteers (CHVs) through a mobile application called ‘Inuka coaching’ in Kenya. Methods A pilot prospective cohort study recruited participants from 18 health centres in Kenya. People who self-screened were eligible if they scored 8 or higher on the Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 (SRQ-20), were aged 18 years or older, conversant in written and spoken English, and familiar with the use of smart mobile devices. The intervention consisted of four PST mobile application chat-sessions delivered by CHVs. CMD measures were administered at baseline, 4-weeks (post-treatment), and at 3-months follow-up assessment. Results In all, 80 participants consented to the study, of which 60 participants (female, n = 38; male, n = 22) completed their 4-week assessments, and 52 participants completed their 3-month follow-up assessment. The results showed a significant improvement over time on the Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 (SRQ-20). Higher-range income, not reporting suicidal ideation, being aged over 30 years, and being male were associated with higher CMD symptom reduction. Conclusion To our knowledge, this report is the first to pilot a PST intervention that is delivered by CHVs through a locally developed mobile application in Kenya, to which clinically meaningful improvements were found. However, a randomised-controlled trial is required to robustly evaluate this intervention.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Global Mental Health
Subjects:
ID Code:
170898
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 May 2022 14:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jan 2023 01:51