Pakistan floods: read a selection of innovations and guidance for acute crises response.

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Principal Investigators: Dr Judy Bass, Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Wongsa Laohasiriwong, Khon Kaen University


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. There is an increasing burden of NCDs within humanitarian contexts, but a lack of evidence of effective NCD interventions in humanitarian settings outside the Middle East. Links between mental disorders and major NCDs are well documented; they share common risk factors, can be a precursor or consequence of each other in addition to being chronic in nature, and there are often-overlooked comorbidities, leading to high costs in care and premature mortality. There is strong evidence of mental health conditions and their influence on NCD risk factors and treatment compliance. This study aims to assess the integration of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), an evidence-based intervention, into existing care models among people living with hypertension, diabetes and epilepsy to assess factors that affect treatment compliance, determine if health outcomes can be improved, and evaluate if this model demonstrates cost savings.

Dr Judy Bass

Co-Principal Investigator

“Common mental disorders can impact whether people with comorbid diseases, like hypertension and diabetes, seek care and maintain treatment compliance. We are integrating an intervention that can treat common mental and behavioural disorders into a care system for non-communicable diseases to improve treatment outcomes for both sets of conditions.”

Expected Outcomes

There are both short and long term expected outcomes for the project, including:

Short term

  • Assessment of differences between intervention and control group NCD and mental health outcomes including wellbeing, mental and physical health status
  • Assessment of differences between intervention and control group behavioral risk factors

Long term

  • The research is expected to inform the role of mental health care as part of comprehensive NCD care in humanitarian settings

If the intervention is found effective this will:

  • Contribute to the evidence base for strengthening NCD care service models, programmatic standards and policies.
  • Support integration of evidence based mental health interventions into NCD care plans as standard practice within humanitarian settings.
  • Support mental health programs in prioritizing people living with NCDs as groups who can improve physical and mental health outcomes when appropriate care is provided.
A client is meeting with an IRC mental health medic and nurse in Mae La Psychosocial Clinic. Credit: Kyaw Zaw Myat, IRC


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