Proof of concept of participant informed, psycho-educational, community-based intervention for people with severe mental illness in rural Vietnam

Trang Nguyen, Tuan Tran, Sally Green, Arthur Hsueh, Thach Tran, Ha Tran, Jane Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a lack of an intervention model that empowers people with severe mental illness (SMI) and their families and addresses the mental health gap in low- and middle-income countries. There is a significant gap in care for people with SMI in rural Vietnam due to the low quality of care in the formal mental health system and the lack of access to an evidence-informed informal approach to care. Objectives: To assess acceptability, feasibility, preliminary evidence of impact and potential cost savings of a mental health support group intervention for people with SMI in the community. Methods: The proof of concept used a pre–post design with qualitative assessment, impact evaluation and cost analysis. Results: A mental health support group intervention facilitated by Women’s Union staff using a positive deviance approach was conducted among 68 people with SMI. Qualitative evaluation showed that the approach was highly acceptable and feasible. There was a significant improvement in personal functioning and a reduction in stigma and discrimination experienced by intervention participants. The intervention was found to reduce significantly the financial burden on the families having members with SMI. Conclusion: The proof of concept of the mental health support group intervention delivered by informal community care providers for people with SMI provides promising evidence to address the mental health gap with high acceptability, feasibility and low-cost for low- and middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • informal community care providers
  • Mental health support group intervention
  • people with severe mental illness
  • Vietnam

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