This study investigated whether a special mental health training binder and workshop could improve primary care physicians’ confidence and skill at recognizing, diagnosing, managing, and treating common mental health disorders. The training materials were developed by the World Health Organization Division of Mental Health and Programme of Substance Abuse, and the study found that focus groups preferred the content over drug-company sponsored materials. A total of 2,548 physicians in three settings was selected to receive the materials: binders, pre-test questionnaires, and an invitation to the CME credit workshop. The study evaluated two groups of doctors: those who returned the pre-test questionnaire and attended the workshop, and those who received the materials and did the questionnaires but did not attend the workshop. Physicians in both groups reported an increased confidence and skill in recognizing and treating depression and anxiety, but there was no difference between those who simply read the binder and those who attended the workshop. For substance abuse, however, those who attended the workshop reported an increase in confidence, whereas those who simply read the binder did not.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.