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Categoría: Incidencia y Prevalencia
Research capacity for mental health in low- and middle-income countries: Results of a mapping project
This report provides an account of the current status of mental health research in 114 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) of Africa (52), Asia (32) and Latin America and the Caribbean (30). The scale of the study makes it the first systematic attempt to confirm the pressing needs of improving research capacity in mental health. Thus, the report enables evidence-based decision-making in funding and priority setting in the area of mental health research in low- and middle-income countries LMICs. It strongly requests all policy-makers, programme managers, and funders of research for health, at national and global levels, to place mental health high on their agendas.
A total of 4633 mental health researchers and 3829 decision-makers, university administrators and association workers working in the field of mental health were identified:
· Half of the countries mapped had only five or fewer mental health researchers.
· Fifty-seven per cent of the 114 LMICs were found to contribute fewer than five articles to the international mental health indexed literature for a 10-year period (1993–2003), while very few articles could be identified from non-indexed sources in almost 70% of the countries, suggesting a paucity of researchers and mental health research in many LMICs.
· Some countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, China, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa contributed significantly to international mental health publications – a finding that attests to notable variations in mental health research production within as well as across regions. The main reasons for this paucity of mental health research identified in the study are the many demands faced by clinicians and academics in a context characterized by poor funding, a lack of trained personnel, little infrastructural support, and a paucity of research networks, in institutions which mostly lacked a research culture. This report highlights the weak research structures and the lack of connection between mental health decision-makers and researchers in LMICs. It gives nine key recommendations for the development of research for action."Professor Lars Jacobsson, Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Psychiatry, Umea University, Sweden The findings of the report emphasize the need for:
1. Governments and other institutions considering mental health crucial to the overall health of their populations and an important bearing on national development.
2. Integrating mental health research within health research systems to enhance synergies and avoid inefficiencies, gaps and duplications.
3. Establishing a leading body to identify and monitor gaps in national and regional mental health research, formulate priorities, advocate for funds, assess research capacity, establish networks, disseminate information and provide technical and financial support.
4. Formulating and implementing mental health research priorities through a transparent, participatory and scientific process. The Combined Approach Matrix (CAM) of the Global Forum is an effective tool for priority setting in this regard.
5. Increasing national funding for mental health research, bringing it into line, as far as possible, with the country’s burden of mental disorders. In addition, leading research donors must include a specific mental health component in their budgetary allocations.
6. Investing in mental health research capacity strengthening, particularly through research trainings and incentives for mental health professionals.
7. Developing research networks and public-private partnerships. In particular, more LMIC researchers and other stakeholders should be connected to established research networks.
8. Mainstreaming cross-cutting issues, such as socioeconomic status and gender, in all strategies and research designs, as key variables.
9. Connecting with information networks in health research to ensure the sharing and utilization of mental health information by researchers, policy-makers, and the general population.
Executive summary Chapter
2: Methods Chapter
3: Results Chapter
4: Discussion Chapter
1. Raise awareness of the importance of mental health
2. Integrate with health research systems
3. Establish governance and monitor progress in mental health research 1054. Formulate and implement mental health research priorities 1065. Increase funding for mental health research 1076. Invest in mental health research capacity strengthening 1087. Develop research networks and public-private partnerships 1098. Consider cross-cutting issues affecting mental health 110 9. Connect with information networks in health research