Gaps in primary mental health care in Chocó, Colombia: barriers and challenges

Agudelo-Hernández et al.


Describe barriers and challenges in the implementation of the global Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP), and determine the association between facilitators of implementation, accessibility, acceptability, and supervision, in Chocó, Colombia.


Cross-sectional evaluation study, with mixed and sequential methods. Forty-one people participated: 30 health personnel and 11 administrative workers. Five focus groups were formed within the framework of the mhGAP training. The Likert scale of implementation drivers was used to determine factors affecting the strategy, such as system facilitators, accessibility of the strategy, adaptation and acceptability, and training and supervision. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted, with a subsequent thematic analysis.


A statistically significant correlation was found between the components of implementation. This was reaffirmed by the information from the interviews. Notable barriers include dispersion, armed conflict, difficulty in changing one's perspective on the area where they live, and administrative problems in accessing treatment. These factors are addressed in a proposed care pathway.


With respect to mhGAP in the department of Chocó, despite adequate acceptability, access, and supervision, there are barriers and challenges at the social, geographical, political, cultural, and health administration levels, which could be overcome through implementation of locally-built intersectoral recovery routes.

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