Scaling up and implementing psychotherapies in low-resource settings

Judith K. Bass, Syed Usman Hamdani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Research has shown that psychotherapy treatment for common mental health problems can be provided with quality and fidelity in settings that lack formal mental health-care services and formally trained mental health professionals. Trials have been completed showing that these treatments can be efficacious in reducing symptom severity compared with wait-control or other comparison conditions. The field of implementation science is providing a formalized approach to investigating how to translate the results of these trials into programmatic strategies that can be scaled up in order to broadly reach populations in need of mental health services. While implementation strategies such as task-sharing approaches, apprenticeship models of training and supervision, and integrated and collaborative care models provide the basis by which intervention dissemination can be realized, challenges remain in how to sustain these strategies and ensure quality service delivery. These challenges are not unique to low-resource settings, but the resource limitations intrinsic to these contexts make the task of sustainability more difficult to achieve. Technological innovations and community-based strategies that harness local capital will need to be utilized if we are to continue to reduce the mental health treatment gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlobal Mental Health and Psychotherapy
Subtitle of host publicationAdapting Psychotherapy for Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128149324
ISBN (Print)9780128149331
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Apprenticeship training
  • Dissemination
  • Global mental health
  • Implementation research
  • Primary care
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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