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December 27, 2016

Randomized Clinical Trials to Evaluate Mental Health Interventions in Resource-Poor Societies

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Mental Hygiene, Columbia University, New York, New York
JAMA. 2016;316(24):2601-2603. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17780

Work on global mental health and on the global burden of disease has documented the immense gap between mental health need and mental health services. Three-quarters of the burden of mental disorders occurs in low- and middle-income countries, yet these countries are the least able to respond effectively to address these disorders.1 In many parts of the world, this gap between mental health needs and available services exceeds 70%; in very-low-income countries this figure is closer to 90%.1 One strategy for addressing this problem has received considerable attention: the crafting of psychological interventions that can be taught to lay health care workers in low- and middle-income societies.