Targeting depression in Low and Middle Income countries

A scalable behavioural solution to non-communicable diseases [NCDs] in South Asia

The Problem:  One of the global challenges of depression is that the greatest burden and impacts are in low and middle income counties [LAMICs]. Access to effective treatments is constrained and there is great potential for brief scalable interventions delivered by lay health workers.  There is also a mismatch between research activity and population need, with few trials being undertaken in LAMICs. 

The BTx Lab solution: Working with experts by experience and community panels we developed culturally appropriate behavioural approaches to prevent and treat depression among people with NCDs [diabetes, in this case].  We developed training resources and materials to enable behavioural techniques to be delivered in lower resources settings. 

What we found & key publications.  The adaptation process of a behavioural activation intervention for depression in people with type 2 diabetes in Bangladesh and Pakistan.  A series of culturally-adapted materials have been produced and will now be evaluated in theDiaDeM pragmatic randomised controlled trial. 

How this research was funded:  DiaDeM started on the 1st September 2020 with a budget of £3m.  Led by Professor Najma Siddiqi, it is funded for 4 years by the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Programme.

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