Non-specialists can reduce symptoms in mental health patients in developing countries, says Cochrane review

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 02 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7184
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

Non-specialist health workers may help increase the number of patients who recover from anxiety and depression and improve the symptoms of patients with dementia in settings where mental health professionals are scarce, a new Cochrane review has indicated.1

The review of 38 studies from seven low income and 15 middle income countries has also found that non-specialist health workers may slightly reduce symptoms of mothers with perinatal depression and of adults with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It has shown that health workers who are not specialists in mental health or neurology may also help decrease alcohol consumption among adults with alcohol misuse disorders by one or two drinks each day and may improve the mental wellbeing of people who care for patients with dementia.

Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist and founder of Sangath, a …

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