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The Global Mental Health Assessment Tool Primary Care and General Health Setting Version (GMHAT/PC) – Spanish version: A validity and feasibility studyThe study aims to assess the feasibility of using a computer assisted diagnostic interview by GPs and to examine the level of agreement between the Spanish version GMHAT/PC diagnosis and psychiatrists' ICD-10 based clinical diagnosis. Participants in the study ranged from those who were in remission to others who had different mental illnesses. They were recruited from inpatient and outpatient mental health settings. All consecutive patients were interviewed using Spanish version of GMHAT/PC and they were assessed independently by psychiatrists to in order to get their ICD-10 based diagnosis. Two hundred ninety-nine patients participated in the study. The mean duration of interview was 12.5 minutes. There is an acceptable to good level of agreement between the GP’s (GMHAT/PC) diagnoses and the psychiatrists’ (clinical) diagnoses of any mental illness, Kappa 0.58 95% C.I (0.46, 0.72). There is good level of sensitivity (81%) and specificity (92%), with GPs correctly identifying 242 out of the 250 participants diagnosed with mental illness and 27 out of 35 of those without. The finding of the study suggest that GMHAT/PC Spanish version used by GPs detected mental disorders accurately and it was feasible to use GMHAT/PC (Spanish version) in Latin America settings.
Mental Health and Primary CareMental ill-health is a leading cause of disability and most people with mental health problems approach their primary care doctors for help. One in four consultations in primary care is mainly due to mental health related issues. Yet mental health hasn’t received due attention so far in primary care setting. The main challenges in taking mental health services at primary care level include limited mental health specialists, low priority given to mental health, Inadequate training and skills of primary care workforce, Inadequate specialists’ support to primary care workers as well as negative attitude and stigma towards metal illness. Investing in work force’s training and education in identifying and managing mental disorders at primary care is the only way forward to address the huge treatment gap exists for mental illness. The use of technology and computers may assist this process further. An example is use of a pragmatic computer assisted diagnostic and treatment tool such as GMHAT/PC. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals need to change their mind-set to work differently by supporting primary care workers, spending more time in training front line workers and taking some leadership in keeping the mental health agenda high up in policy makers’ list.
Psychiatric morbidity in medically ill patients using Spanish version of GMHAT/PCThe study aimed to assess psychiatric morbidity in medically ill patients and to examine the use of GMHAT/PC Spanish version in a general health setting. We recruited patients who were hospitalized at the services of Internal Medicine, Surgery and G/O during a period of 1 month for each service. The diagnosis of a medical illness was supported by specialists in each service. A trained GP conducted a psychiatric assessment of all the participants using GMHAT/PC. The interview was carried out at patients’ bedside. Of 455 medically ill patients, 4.8% had a mental illness identified by GMHAT/PC interview. Anxiety, depression and organic disorders were the most frequently identified mental disorders in internal medicine and surgery. Cancer had a significantly higher prevalence of comorbid mental illness. In this study the proportion of medically ill with mental disorders was less compared to other studies. The GMHAT/PC is more close to identifying clinical cases of mental illness and also patients who need help. The GMHAT is more a diagnostic instrument than a screening instrument. Physicians and practitioners can be trained to identify mental illness using computer-assisted tools such as GMHAT/PC. A holistic approach of providing care to such patients may improve their overall outcome and quality of life.