Adaptation and translation of a scalable measure for assessing health worker competence to deliver a brief psychological intervention: A case study from central India of its comparison to a performance-based measure

Psychiatr Q. 2023 Mar;94(1):33-47. doi: 10.1007/s11126-022-10007-6. Epub 2022 Dec 20.


Efforts to reduce the global burden of common mental disorders have focused on scaling up evidence-based training programs for non-specialist providers to deliver brief psychological interventions. To evaluate these provider training programs, appropriate and scalable assessments of competency need to be developed alongside them. We followed a systematic approach for the cultural adaptation and translation into Hindi of a valid, English, multiple-choice applied knowledge measure to assess non-specialists' competence to deliver a brief psychological intervention for depression in rural India. We then explored the relationship between the performance of 30 non-specialist providers on the same written measure compared with a structured performance-based measure consisting of two role-plays. The results of the multiple-choice assessment had an overall mean score of 37.40 (SD = 11.31) compared to the mean scores of role-play A (the easier role-play) of 43.25 (SD = 14.50) and role-play B (the more difficult role-play) of 43.25 (SD = 13.00). Role-play performance-based measures and written applied knowledge measures represent different approaches with unique strengths and challenges to measuring competence. Scaling up training programs requires the development of scalable methods for competency assessment. Exploring the relationship between these two measures, our team found no apparent differences between the two modes of assessment. Continued comparison of these approaches is needed to determine the consistency of outcomes across the two formats and to link the scores on these measures with clinical performance as reflected by the quality of care and patient outcomes.Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT04157816; 8th November 2019.

Keywords: Cultural adaptation; Depression; Global mental health; Health worker competence; Mental health; Psychological intervention; Task sharing; Training; Translation.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • India
  • Mental Disorders*
  • Psychosocial Intervention*

Associated data