Experience of primary healthcare workers in using the mobile app-based WHO mhGAP intervention guide in detection and treatment of people with mental disorders: A qualitative study in Nepal
Luitel NP., Neupane V., Lamichhane B., Koirala GP., Gautam K., Karki E., Adhikari S., Votruba N., Jordans MJ., Kohrt BA., Carswell K., Thornicroft G., Lempp H.
This study assessed perception and experience of trained primary health care workers in using a mobile app-based version of the WHO mental health gap action programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guide in the assessment and management of people with mental health conditions in primary care in Nepal. A qualitative study was conducted with primary healthcare workers who were trained in using the WHO mhGAP mobile application in Jhapa, a district in eastern Nepal. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 15 healthcare workers (3 females and 12 males) nine months after the training. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and translated into English for the thematic qualitative data analysis. Health care workers (HCWs) found the mobile app helpful to verify and confirm their assessment and diagnosis. The other benefits reported by the participants were: bringing uniformity in diagnosis and management of mental health conditions across primary healthcare facilities; reminding the HCWs specific assessment questions; creating awareness on the importance of psychosocial intervention; improving the interaction between patients and service providers; and the importance of follow-up care. Despite these advantages, lack of clarity about report submission modality; lack of electricity or internet connectivity; and low technology literacy among older HCWs were some of the barriers in using the app. The major recommendation made by the HCWs for the guide included revision of the assessment process and system; inclusion of a chat function with supervisors; minimizing the amount of patients’ data to be collected in the app; and addition of conversion and anxiety disorders to the app. This study concludes that the mobile decision support application could be acceptable and feasible in primary care settings if the suggested modifications are incorporated, in addition to addressing other systemic issues facing the primary care-based delivery of mental health services.