ABOUT SMhINT

SMhINT is a NIH Funded research and capacity-building consortium in Southern Africa.

  • We aim to use implementation science to strengthen regional mental health integration into primary health, antenatal, and chroniccare platforms in under-resourced areas of eastern South Africa, central Mozambique and southern Tanzania.

 

  • The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and University of Washington (UW) have partnered with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania, Health Alliance International (HAI) and the Beira Operations Research Center (CIOB) in Mozambique and the Ministries/ Departments of Health in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.

 

  • This study uses the RE-AIM and CFIR frameworks for implementation research to synergistically and iteratively strengthen integrated mental health services in primary care settings.

 

  • This is one of the first studies to use these implementation research frameworks to create learning health systems for mental health reforms for integrated care in scarce-resource contexts.

 

  • Our participatory case study approach demonstrates the value of implementation science as a vehicle for scaling up co-designed health innovations in poorly-resourced health systems.

SMhINT provides an opportunity for shared learning and efficiencies across the three countries.

  • South Africa is pioneering scale-up of an evidence-based delivery model of integrated mental health in primary care.

  • Investigators in Mozambique and Tanzania will learn from successes and failures in the South Africa integration experience. They will have ongoing projects focused on integrated care with opportunities for shared learning. 

  • The University of Washington will provide technical expertise in the field of implementation science in order to build capacity through courses and mentorship. 

This study uses the RE-AIM and CFIR frameworks for implementation research to synergistically and iteratively strengthen integrated mental health services in primary care settings. 

  • This is one of the first studies to use these implementation research frameworks to create learning health systems for mental health reforms for integrated care in scarce-resource contexts. 

  • Our participatory case study approach demonstrates the value of implementation science as a vehicle for scaling up co-designed health innovations in poorly-resourced health systems. 

SMhINT is made up of three core components:

Administrative Core

The Administrative Core (AC) aims to establish and engage a trans-disciplinary research consortium of academics, government representatives and non-governmental organisations across the three countries to address the burden of common mental disorders in primary health care settings. The AC manages all operations including the development of monitoring systems for all SMhINT activities and milestones, and a process evaluation of the partnership.

Scale-Up Study

The scale up study examines multi-level influences on the uptake, implementation, effectiveness and sustainability of an existing scale-up of an integrated mental health package for chronic disorders project (MhINT) at primary health care level in diverse sub-districts in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 

The Scale-Up Study is the primary research focus of the SMhINT Project. 

Capacity Building

The Capacity Building component of SMhINT aims to build implementation science and dissemination research capacity in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania. 

Additionally, the capacity building core aims to recruit service providers, managers and policy makers as trainees, providing real-world opportunities, mentorship and necessary knowledge to conduct optimal scale-up of evidence-based integrated mental health care. 

SMhINT provides an opportunity for shared learning and efficiencies

Mental health policy analyses suggest that the diffusion of a policy innovation from one country to another is optimal when countries:

1. perceive a high degree of commonality with respect to the burden of illness

2. are close geographically, which promotes social learning and peer comparison

South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania are in close proximity. With this partnership, we will learn from each other in a unique Southern African collaboration.