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Optimizing Implementation Strategies of the First Scale-up of a Primary Care Psychological Interventions for Common Mental Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Friendship Bench

Zimbabwe Bradley Wagenaar, MPH, PhD
Professor Ricardo Araya
Dr. Dixon Chibanda
Dr. Andrew Healey
Ruth Verhey


This project will evaluate the scale-up of the Friendship Bench using the RE-AIM Framework, and then identify implementation strategies associated with high performance across RE-AIM outcomes. These will then be tested in rapid-cycle randomized trials amongst poor performing clinics and evaluated using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).
The FB uses a brief psychological approach based on problem-solving therapy and carried out by lay health workers with supervision by a more experienced mental health worker. The FB was scaled up to 72 clinics in and around Harare about one year ago. This study aims to evaluate the scaling-up so far and to identify the factors that have influenced the outcome of the implementation of the FB with a view to design an enhanced facilitation intervention to improve the implementation in clinics that have not performed so well. It will use well-known implementation science frameworks to guide the work.

Project dates