Leveraging Stakeholder Engagement and Virtual Environments to Develop a Strategy for Implementation of Adolescent Depression Services Integrated Within Primary Care Clinics of Mozambique

Front Public Health. 2022 May 26;10:876062. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.876062. eCollection 2022.


Psychiatric disorders are the number one cause of disability in adolescents worldwide. Yet, in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where 90% of adolescents reside, mental health services are extremely limited, and the majority do not have access to treatment. Integration of mental health services within primary care of LMICs has been proposed as an efficient and sustainable way to close the adolescent mental health treatment gap. However, there is limited research on how to effectively implement integrated mental health care in LMIC. In the present study, we employed Implementation Mapping to develop a multilevel strategy for integrating adolescent depression services within primary care clinics of Maputo, Mozambique. Both in-person and virtual approaches for Implementation Mapping activities were used to support an international implementation planning partnership and promote the engagement of multilevel stakeholders. We identified determinants to implementation of mental health services for adolescents in LMIC across all levels of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, of which of 25% were unique to adolescent-specific services. Through a series of stakeholder workshops focused on implementation strategy selection, prioritization, and specification, we then developed an implementation plan comprising 33 unique strategies that target determinants at the intervention, patient, provider, policy, and community levels. The implementation plan developed in this study will be evaluated for delivering adolescent depression services in Mozambican primary care and may serve as a model for other low-resource settings.

Keywords: LMIC; adolescent; community engagement; depression; implementation determinants; implementation strategies; mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Mozambique
  • Primary Health Care
  • Stakeholder Participation*