Integrating mental health screening into routine community maternal and child health activity: experience from Prevention of Mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) trial in Nigeria

Theddeus Iheanacho, Michael Obiefune, Chinenye O. Ezeanolue, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Okey C. Nwanyanwu, John E. Ehiri, Jude Ohaeri, Echezona E. Ezeanolue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Although the prevalence of mental health disorders in Nigeria is comparable to most developed countries, access to mental health care in Nigeria is limited. Improving access to care requires innovative approaches that deliver mental health interventions at the community level. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of integrating mental health screening into an existing community-based program for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV targeted at pregnant women and their male partners. Methods: Pregnant women and their male partners from 117 churches enrolled in the healthy beginning initiative (HBI) in southeast Nigeria participated in the mental health screening project. Two members from each church were trained as church-based health advisors to administer the 12-item general health questionnaire. Results: Ninety-three percent of the pregnant women and their male partners agreed to participate and fully completed the questionnaire. Overall, 21.7 % of the respondents scored above the threshold of 11 indicating significant psychological distress, with women having significantly higher scores than men. Conclusion: Mental health screening is feasible and well accepted among a cohort of pregnant women and their male partners. Church members can be trained as health advisors to administer mental health screening. Mental health interventions can be developed on the framework of the HBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Adult Nigerians
  • Community and church-based screening
  • General Health Questionnaire 12
  • Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)
  • Maternal and child health
  • Mental health screening
  • PMTCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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