Training beyond borders: A WPA pilot project for child and adolescent mental health course in Pakistan
Imran, Nazish et al. (2022), Training beyond borders: A WPA pilot project for child and adolescent mental health course in Pakistan, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rbnzs7hf7
Purpose: The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) strives to close the gap between expertise in high-income countries (HICs) and low and middle-income countries (LMICs). WPA volunteering programme is a project framework wherein area-specific experts from HICs volunteer to support local experts in the LMICs in training their own professionals. This paper reports on the outcome of a collaborative project on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) training in Pakistan.
Materials and methods: Thirty participants from twenty-three different institutions across Pakistan were selected on the basis of their interest in CAMH. Two volunteers (ST and MH) met online with the Pakistani representatives (NI and QUH) to develop a programme. They also regularly met online between the sessions to evaluate adjustments in order to increase the appropriateness of the offered content according to participant feedback and suggestions.
Results: The pre- and post-course evaluation revealed statistically significant improvement in knowledge and skills gained in different topics covered in the course (P-value<0.001) as well as improvement in confidence in applying the theoretical understanding of CAMH problems in their daily clinical practice (P-value<0.001)
Conclusions: The WPA volunteering programme is a valuable strategy to deliver effective and much-needed training in low-resource settings. Long-distance learning via live online sessions is effective and worthwhile, especially when they provide opportunities for participants to learn from interactive sessions.
An online questionnaire (Google Forms) was developed in discussion with senior trainers in Pakistan and International volunteer team members. It was based on the intended outcome of the course and was used for pre and post-test course evaluation. The aspects covered in the quantitative part of the questionnaire included confidence about knowledge related to CAMH and its application, understanding child development, assessing children and adolescents, talking to families, diagnosis and formulation in CAP and prescribing psychotropic medications. The responses were scored on a Likert scale from 1 (no skill/ confidence at all) to 5 (Expert). Similar Likert scale was also used for feedback regarding individual sessions. Post-course evaluation also included questions related to level of comfort with the size of the group, the language used, the online medium and areas of further courses (Appendix 1). Feedback of each session was also collected from participants after each session. Participants gave informed consent for their responses to be used for course evaluation and confidentiality was ensured.
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