Is there a Gender Difference in Mental Health Literacy that Affects Mental Health Attitude?

Research Paper Title

Mental Health Literacy Affects Mental Health Attitude: Is There a Gender Difference?

Background

In the current study, the researchers aimed to compare the levels of and factors associated with mental health attitude between males and females. Of particular interest was ascertaining the degree to which mental health literacy was related to mental health attitude and whether this relationship would vary by gender.

Methods

A total of 732 participants aged 18 years or more were recruited from attendees at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. They used the Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS) to measure attitude toward and literacy of mental health.

Results

The multivariate analysis reported that males’ mental health attitude was significantly lower than females. Some factors associated with mental health attitude differed by gender as well. Among men, receiving more social support, experiencing higher levels of depression, and being married predicted greater mental health attitude. Among women, older age was associated with lower mental health attitude levels. However, mental health literacy was the strongest factor regardless of gender. Men and women with greater mental health literacy had a more positive mental health attitude.

Conclusions

Provision of tailored mental health literacy education both for males and females could potentially improve the public’s mental health attitude toward mental illness.

Reference

Lee, H.Y., Hwang, J., Ball, J.G., Lee, J., Yu, Y & Albright, D.L. (2020) Mental Health Literacy Affects Mental Health Attitude: Is There a Gender Difference? American Journal of Health Behaviour. 44(3), pp.282-291. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.44.3.1.

Primary Care Physicians & the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)

Research Paper Title

Building capacity in mental health care in low- and middle-income countries by training primary care physicians using the mhGAP: a randomized controlled trial.

Background

To address the rise in mental health conditions in Tunisia, a training based on the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guide (IG) was offered to primary care physicians (PCPs) working in the Greater Tunis area.

Non-specialists (such as PCPs)’ training is an internationally supported way to target untreated mental health symptoms.

Methods

The researchers aimed to evaluate the programme’s impact on PCPs’ mental health knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy and self-reported practice, immediately following and 18 months after training.

They conducted an exploratory trial with a combination of designs: a pretest-posttest control group design and a one-group pretest-posttest design were used to assess the training’s short-term impact; and a repeated measures design was used to assess the training’s long-term impact.

The former relied on a delayed-intervention strategy: participants assigned to the control group (Group 2) received the training after the intervention group (Group 1).

The intervention consisted of a weekly mhGAP-based training session (totalling 6 weeks), comprising lectures, discussions, role plays and a support session offered by trainers.

Data were collected at baseline, following Group 1’s training, following Group 2’s training and 18 months after training. Descriptive, bivariate and ANOVA analyses were conducted.

Overall, 112 PCPs were randomised to either Group 1 (n = 52) or Group 2 (n = 60).

Results

The training had a statistically significant short-term impact on mental health knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy scores but not on self-reported practice.

When comparing pre-training results and results 18 months after training, these changes were maintained.

PCPs reported a decrease in referral rates to specialised services 18 months after training in comparison to pre-training.

Conclusions

The mhGAP-based training might be useful to increase mental health knowledge and self-efficacy, and decrease reported referral rates and negative mental health attitudes among PCPs in Tunisia and other low- and middle-income countries.

Future studies should examine relationships among these outcome variables.

Reference

Spagnolo, J., Champagne, F., Leduc, N., Rivard, M., Melki, W., Piat, M., Laporta, M., Guesmi, I., Bram, N. & Charfi, F. (2019) Building capacity in mental health care in low- and middle-income countries by training primary care physicians using the mhGAP: a randomized controlled trial. Health Policy and Planning. pii: czz138. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czz138. [Epub ahead of print].