Original Article

The Effectiveness of the Pilot Implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive Mental and Social Health Services (the SERAJ Program): A Controlled Community Trial

Abstract

Objective: A national program on providing comprehensive social and mental health services, entitled “SERAJ” was developed and piloted in three districts of Iran. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of SERAJ by conducting assessments before and after the implementation in the intervention and the control areas.

Method: This was a controlled community trial that was assessed by conducting repeated surveys in the intervention and the control areas. In total, 2952 and 2874 individuals were assessed in the intervention and the control areas, respectively. The change in prevalence of mental disorders (using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview; CIDI), service utilization, mental health literacy, happiness, and perceived social support were measured over 18 months in three districts of Osko, Bardsir, and Quchan as the intervention areas, which were compared with three matched districts as the control areas.

Results: No significant difference was found in the mean score of happiness between the intervention and the control areas throughout the study period. Most aspects of mental health literacy were improved in the intervention areas after implementing the intervention. The mean score of social support decreased after implementing the intervention in all areas. The prevalence of mental disorders in the intervention districts was significantly reduced after 18 months. The rate of using any mental health services after the intervention was not statistically different between the intervention and the control areas.

Conclusion: There was no significant change in some indicators in the intervention compared with the control areas. We suggest evaluating SERAJ’s achievements and challenges in the three intervention districts before expanding the implementation of this pilot experience into other districts.

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IssueVol 16 No 2 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Published2020-12-05
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijps.v16i2.5818
Keywords
Community Trial Mental Health Mental Health Literacy Pilot Evaluation

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How to Cite
1.
Hajebi A, Sharifi V, Asgardoon MH, Damari B. The Effectiveness of the Pilot Implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive Mental and Social Health Services (the SERAJ Program): A Controlled Community Trial. Iran J Psychiatry. 16(2):168-176.