Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

‘Global mental health’: systematic review of the term and its implicit priorities

  • Supriya Misra (a1), Anne Stevenson (a2), Emily E. Haroz (a3), Victoria de Menil (a4) and Karestan C. Koenen (a5)...

Abstract

Background

The term ‘global mental health’ came to the fore in 2007, when the Lancet published a series by that name.

Aims

To review all peer-reviewed articles using the term ‘global mental health’ and determine the implicit priorities of scientific literature that self-identifies with this term.

Method

We conducted a systematic review to quantify all peer-reviewed articles using the English term ‘global mental health’ in their text published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2016, including by geographic regions and by mental health conditions.

Results

A total of 467 articles met criteria. Use of the term ‘global mental health’ increased from 12 articles in 2007 to 114 articles in 2016. For the 111 empirical studies (23.8% of articles), the majority (78.4%) took place in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with the most in Sub-Saharan Africa (28.4%) and South Asia (25.5%) and none from Central Asia. The most commonly studied mental health conditions were depression (29.7%), psychoses (12.6%) and conditions specifically related to stress (12.6%), with fewer studies on epilepsy (2.7%), self-harm and suicide (1.8%) and dementia (0.9%). The majority of studies lacked contextual information, including specific region(s) within countries where studies took place (20.7% missing), specific language(s) in which studies were conducted (36.9% missing), and details on ethnic identities such as ethnicity, caste and/or tribe (79.6% missing) and on socioeconomic status (85.4% missing).

Conclusions

Research identifying itself as ‘global mental health’ has focused predominantly on depression in LMICs and lacked contextual and sociodemographic data that limit interpretation and application of findings.

Declaration of interest

None.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      ‘Global mental health’: systematic review of the term and its implicit priorities
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      ‘Global mental health’: systematic review of the term and its implicit priorities
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      ‘Global mental health’: systematic review of the term and its implicit priorities
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Supriya Misra, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge Building, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Email: supriya@mail.harvard.edu

References

Hide All
1Kleinman, AM. Depression, somatization and the ‘new cross-cultural psychiatry’. Soc Sci Med 1977; 11: 39.
2Ormel, J, VonKorff, M, Ustun, TB, Pini, S, Korten, A, Oldehinkel, T. Common mental disorders and disability across cultures: results from the WHO Collaborative Study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care. JAMA 1994; 272: 1741–8.
3Demyttenaere, K, Bruffaerts, R, Posada-Villa, J, Gasquet, I, Kovess, V, Lepine, J, et al. Prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. JAMA 2004; 291: 2581–90.
4Prince, M, Patel, V, Saxena, S, Maj, M, Maselko, J, Phillips, MR, et al. No health without mental health. Lancet 2007; 370: 859877.
5Horton, R. Launching a new movement for mental health. Lancet 2007; 370: 806.
6King's College London. Global Mental Health MSc. King's College London, no date (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/global-mental-health-msc.aspx).
7Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Global Mental Health Fellowships. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, no date (https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/global-mental-health/education-and-training/fellowships/).
8Lisbon Institute of Global Mental Health. Training. Lisbon Institute of Global Mental Health, no date (https://www.lisboninstitutegmh.org/training).
9Patel, V, Minas, H, Cohen, A, Prince, MJ. Global Mental Health: Principles and Practice. Oxford University Press, 2013.
10Kohrt, BA, Mendenhall, E. Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives (Vol. 2). Routledge, 2016.
11Grand Challenges Canada. A Platform for Innovation: Annual Report 2016–2017. Grand Challenges Canada, 2017.
12National Institute of Mental Health. Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integrating Mental Health into Chronic Disease Care Provision in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (R01). National Institute of Mental Health, 2012 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-13-040.html).
13Medical Research Council. Global Mental Health: Guidelines for Applicants and Assessment Criteria. MRC, 2018 (https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/browse/gcrf-global-mental-health/global-mental-health/mrc-global-mental-health-application-guidelines/).
14Bartlett, N, Garriott, W, Raikhel, E. What's in the ‘treatment gap’? Ethnographic perspectives on addiction and global mental health from China, Russia, and the United States. Med Anthropol 2014; 33: 457–77.
15Patel, V, Prince, M. Global mental health: a new global health field comes of age. JAMA 2010; 303: 1976–7.
16Fernando, GA. The roads less traveled: mapping some pathways on the global mental health research roadmap. Transcult Psychiatry 2012; 49: 396417.
17Summerfield, D. Afterword: Against ‘global mental health’. Transcult Psychiatry 2012; 49: 519–30.
18Patel, V. Why mental health matters to global health. Transcult Psychiatry 2014; 51: 777–89.
19Gordin, MD. Scientific Babel: How Science was Done Before and After Global English. University of Chicago Press, 2015.
20Moher, D, Liberati, A, Tetzlaff, J, Altman, DG, The PRISMA Group. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med 2009; 6: e1000097.
21The World Bank. World Bank Country and Lending Groups. World Bank, 2018 (https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519).
22World Health Organization. mhGAP Intervention Guide – Version 2.0. WHO, 2016 (http://www.who.int/mental_health/mhgap/mhGAP_intervention_guide_02/en/).
23World Health Organization. mhGAP Module: Assessment and Management of Conditions Specifically Related to Stress. WHO, 2013 (http://www.who.int/mental_health/emergencies/mhgap_module_management_stress/en/).
24The Cochrane Public Health Group. Guide for Developing a Cochrane Protocol. Cochrane Public Health Group, 2011 (https://ph.cochrane.org/sites/ph.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/Guide%20for%20PH%20protocol_Nov%202011_final%20for%20website.pdf).
25Cochrane Methods. PROGRESS-Plus. Cochrane, no date (https://methods.cochrane.org/equity/projects/evidence-equity/progress-plus).
26Semrau, M, Evans-Lacko, S, Alem, A, Ayuso-Mateos, JL, Chisholm, D, Gureje, O, et al. Strengthening mental health systems in low-and middle-income countries: the Emerald programme. BMC Med 2015; 13: 79.
27Lund, C, Tomlinson, M, De Silva, M, Fekadu, A, Shidhaye, R, Jordans, M, et al. PRIME: a programme to reduce the treatment gap for mental disorders in five low-and middle-income countries. PLoS Med 2012; 9: e1001359.
28Lund, C, Alem, A, Schneider, M, Hanlon, C, Ahrens, J, Bandawe, C, et al. Generating evidence to narrow the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa: rationale, overview and methods of AFFIRM. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 2015; 24: 233–40.
29Michalopoulos, LM, Meinhart, M, Yung, J, Barton, SM, Wang, X, Chakrabarti, U, et al. Global posttrauma symptoms: a systematic review of qualitative literature. Trauma Violence Abuse 2018; Jan 1 (Epub ahead of print).
30Winkler, P, Krupchanka, D, Roberts, T, Kondratova, L, Machů, V, Höschl, C, et al. A blind spot on the global mental health map: a scoping review of 25 years’ development of mental health care for people with severe mental illnesses in central and eastern Europe. Lancet Psychiatry 2017; 4: 634–42.
31The World Bank. Population, Total. World Bank, no date (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL).
32Whiteford, HA, Degenhardt, L, Rehm, J, Baxter, AJ, Ferrari, AJ, Erskine, HE, et al. Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2013; 382: 1575–86.
33Patel, V, Weiss, HA, Chowdhary, N, Naik, S, Pednekar, S, Chatterjee, S, et al. Effectiveness of an intervention led by lay health counsellors for depressive and anxiety disorders in primary care in Goa, India (MANAS): a cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2010; 376: 2086–95.
34Chibanda, D, Bowers, T, Verhey, R, Rusakaniko, S, Abas, M, Weiss, HA, et al. The Friendship Bench programme: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a brief psychological intervention for common mental disorders delivered by lay health workers in Zimbabwe. Int J Ment Health Syst 2015; 9: 21.
35Wang, W, Wu, J, Dai, X, Ma, G, Yang, B, Wang, T, et al. Global campaign against epilepsy: assessment of a demonstration project in rural China. Bull World Health Organ 2008; 86: 964–9.
36Gureje, O, Lasebikan, VO, Kola, L, Makanjuola, VA. Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders in the Nigerian Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. Br J Psychiatry 2006; 188: 465–71.
37Barbui, C, Purgato, M, Churchill, R, Adams, C, Amato, L, Macdonald, G, et al. Cochrane for global mental health. Lancet Psychiatry 2017; 4: e6.
38Saxena, S, Kestel, D, Sunkel, C, London, E, Horton, R, Patel, V, et al. Countdown global mental health 2030. Lancet 2019; 393: 858–9.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Open
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2056-4724
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-open
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Misra et al. supplementary material
Misra et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (112 KB)
112 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

‘Global mental health’: systematic review of the term and its implicit priorities

  • Supriya Misra (a1), Anne Stevenson (a2), Emily E. Haroz (a3), Victoria de Menil (a4) and Karestan C. Koenen (a5)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *