Strengthening the Paediatricians Project 1: The need, content and process of a workshop to address the Priority Mental Health Disorders of adolescence in countries with low human resource for health
1 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 002, India
2 Child Development Centre, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram 695 011, India
Asia Pacific Family Medicine 2010, 9:4 doi:10.1186/1447-056X-9-4Published: 18 February 2010
World Health Organization has identified Priority Mental Health Disorders (PMHD) of adolescence. To effectively address these disorders at the primary care level paediatricians have to be trained in the low-income countries, which often have paucity of mental health resources. We studied: (1) the need of psychiatric training required among paediatricians; (2) if the content and process of the model workshop suits them to identify and treat these disorders.
Forty-eight paediatricians completed evaluation questionnaire at the end of a 3-day workshop on adolescent psychiatry. They participated in a focused group discussion addressing the areas in psychiatry that needs to be strengthened in these workshops, the changes in the content and process of the workshop to bolster their learning. Qualitative and descriptive analyses were appropriately used.
Training in adolescent psychiatry was considered necessary among the paediatricians at zonal level frequently to develop their private practice, treat psychiatric disorders confidently, make correct referrals, and learn about counselling. Prioritizing training from under and postgraduate training, integrate psychiatry training with conference, conducting special workshops or Continuing Medical Education were suggested as ways of inculcating adolescent psychiatry proficiency. Mental status examination, psychopathology and management of the PMHD were considered by the respondents as important content that need to be addressed in the program but aspects of behavioural problems and developmental disabilities were also identified as areas of focus to gain knowledge and skill. Appropriate group size, flexibility in management decisions to fit the diverse clinical practice- settings was appreciated. Lack of skills in giving clinical reasoning in relation to PMHD, time management and feedback to individuals were identified as required components in the collaborative effort of this manner. Providing delegates with basic information on adolescent psychiatry prior to the workshop was suggested to make the workshop more valuable.
There is a need to expand training for paediatricians from various backgrounds in adolescent psychiatry to strengthen their clinical skills to address the PMHD at the primary-care level. The evaluation suggests that the design and collaborative approach evident in this programme have merit as a model for training paediatricians in adolescent psychiatry in countries with low human resource for health.