Integration of Depression and Alcohol Abuse Screening and Care Practices in Primary Care Settings for Women in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia
The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health initiative has identified the integration of screening and core packages of mental health services into routine primary health care as a research priority. Many people present in primary care settings with mental disorders, but providers do not identify or treat symptoms, or refer the patient for specialty services. There is scant evidence on coverage and quality of mental health services in primary care settings in low-middle-income countries. This report presents documentation of the depression and alcohol results from a larger study on NCDs in Albania, Armenia, Georgia and Russia.
Results of this assessment of NCD prevention, screening, and care services for women of reproductive age in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia demonstrate significant gaps in quality of best practices, including client and provider practice and knowledge. Despite relatively high rates of client-reported depression in all these countries, assessment results demonstrate weak delivery of general mental health and depression-specific detection and treatment best practices. These results highlight service delivery gaps and opportunities for scaling up integration of mental health services within primary care. Recommendations for corrective actions include improving provider capacity to recognize and diagnose individuals at high risk for or suffering from depression, and strengthening confidence and competence to diagnose depression and anxiety and to treat or refer for mental health care.