The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for severe depression, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trial

Elsevier, The Lancet, Volume 389, 14 January 2017
Patel V., Weobong B., Weiss H.A., Anand A., Bhat B., Katti B. et al.
Background Although structured psychological treatments are recommended as first-line interventions for depression, only a small fraction of people globally receive these treatments because of poor access in routine primary care. We assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a brief psychological treatment (Healthy Activity Program [HAP]) for delivery by lay counsellors to patients with moderately severe to severe depression in primary health-care settings. Methods In this randomised controlled trial, we recruited participants aged 18–65 years scoring more than 14 on the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) indicating moderately severe to severe depression from ten primary health centres in Goa, India. Pregnant women or patients who needed urgent medical attention or were unable to communicate clearly were not eligible. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1) to enhanced usual care (EUC) alone or EUC combined with HAP in randomly sized blocks (block size four to six [two to four for men]), stratified by primary health centre and sex, and allocation was concealed with use of sequential numbered opaque envelopes. Physicians providing EUC were masked. Primary outcomes were depression symptom severity on the Beck Depression Inventory version II and remission from depression (PHQ-9 score of