Implementation of World Health Organization guidelines for the treatment of stress-related mental health problems in Uganda: A qualitative study
In 2013, the World Health Organization published new guidelines for the management of conditions related to stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ministries of Health around the world, including those in low and middle income countries such as Uganda, are in the early stages of determining the appropriateness of these guidelines in their local contexts. It is important to evaluate the implementation of these guidelines in low resource settings and to determine the barriers associated with their adoption. The proposed research is a qualitative study to assess the awareness, feasibility, and acceptability of the new guidelines in four districts that provide mental health services for survivors of trauma in Uganda. We will conduct in-depth interviews with local stakeholders including clinical staff and district health officials. The results of the project will be helpful in elucidating the challenges of implementing the new WHO guidelines in Uganda and potential solutions to these challenges. This is critical given the high rates of violence and war exposure among populations in Uganda and documented high prevalence of PTSD. The results will also be useful in developing frameworks and quantitative indicators for future studies investigating mental health guideline implementation and may be helpful to other low resource post-conflict settings in which these guidelines are being implemented.