# Systematic review of interventions to reduce mental health stigma in India

Kaur, Amanpreet; Kallakuri, Sudha; Kohrt, Brandon A; Heim, Eva; Gronholm, Petra C; Thornicroft, Graham; Maulik, Pallab K (2021). Systematic review of interventions to reduce mental health stigma in India. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 55:102466.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stigma is a barrier for help-seeking, mental health service access, and contributes to the mental health treatment gap. Because the mental health treatment gap is greatest in low- and middle-income countries, it is vital to identify effective strategies to reduce stigma in these settings. To date, there has been a lack of synthesis of findings from interventions to reduce stigma related to mental disorders within India.

METHOD: A systematic review was conducted to provide an overview of the characteristics and effectiveness of stigma reduction interventions studies in India. PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases were searched for literature published up to 30$^{th}$ June 2020.

RESULTS: From a total of 1,984 articles identified, only 9 were eligible for final inclusion, published between 1990-2020. No study was found from North, North-East, Central or East India. Most stigma-reduction interventions were multi-level, that is, using a combination of intra-personal, inter-personal and community level strategies to target changes in outcomes of individuals, environments and community groups. Three studies focused on health and stigma-related changes at the organisational/institutional level. No interventions focused on the governmental/structural level. There were only two randomised controlled trials, and two studies focused on all three stigma components of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Most interventions were delivered to community members. None focused on mental health professionals as intervention delivery target.

CONCLUSION: There is a need for the development of comprehensive, culturally acceptable evidence-based interventions that act at multiple levels, and involve a mixture of various stigma reducing strategies with multiple target groups.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stigma is a barrier for help-seeking, mental health service access, and contributes to the mental health treatment gap. Because the mental health treatment gap is greatest in low- and middle-income countries, it is vital to identify effective strategies to reduce stigma in these settings. To date, there has been a lack of synthesis of findings from interventions to reduce stigma related to mental disorders within India.

METHOD: A systematic review was conducted to provide an overview of the characteristics and effectiveness of stigma reduction interventions studies in India. PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases were searched for literature published up to 30$^{th}$ June 2020.

RESULTS: From a total of 1,984 articles identified, only 9 were eligible for final inclusion, published between 1990-2020. No study was found from North, North-East, Central or East India. Most stigma-reduction interventions were multi-level, that is, using a combination of intra-personal, inter-personal and community level strategies to target changes in outcomes of individuals, environments and community groups. Three studies focused on health and stigma-related changes at the organisational/institutional level. No interventions focused on the governmental/structural level. There were only two randomised controlled trials, and two studies focused on all three stigma components of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Most interventions were delivered to community members. None focused on mental health professionals as intervention delivery target.

CONCLUSION: There is a need for the development of comprehensive, culturally acceptable evidence-based interventions that act at multiple levels, and involve a mixture of various stigma reducing strategies with multiple target groups.

## Statistics

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