by Vikram Patel, Benedict Weobong, Helen A Weiss et al.
The Lancet – Published Online December 14, 2016
Although structured psychological treatments are recommended as first-line interventions for depression, only a small fraction of people globally receive these treatments because of poor access in routine primary care. The authors assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a brief psychological treatment (Healthy Activity Program [HAP]) for delivery by lay counsellors to patients with moderately severe to severe depression in primary health-care settings. They conclude that HAP delivered by lay counsellors plus enhanced usual care (EUC) was better than EUC alone was for patients with moderately severe to severe depression in routine primary care in Goa, India. HAP was readily accepted by this previously untreated population and was cost-effective in this setting. HAP could be a key strategy to reduce the treatment gap for depressive disorders, the leading mental health disorder worldwide.