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Tasneem Raja

Research Title:

Psychiatric hospital reform in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

About my research:

Low and middle-income settings like India face large treatment gaps in terms of mental health care. Mental hospitals in India have played an important role in the care of very vulnerable people. They have been hugely criticized as places of severe human rights violation but also lauded as places that have taken care of a people generally shunned by community. In a country where community interventions for the severely ill are still fragmentary, the mental hospital continues to remain a legitimate and relevant locus of care for people in need of services

Psychiatry has struggled with the reform of hospitals for over two centuries; reform that has occurred seems to be un-linked to service user outcomes. Given the lack of feasibility of closing down psychiatric institutions in most low and middle income countries, this study seeks to answer important questions around the nature and process of reforms in institutional care that promote human rights, dignity and recovery.

Structured Individualized Intervention and Recovery (SITAR) aims to bridge a critical gap in scientific evidence by studying the impact of reform of psychiatric hospitals on individual patient outcomes. It will offer an evidence based package of reforms for psychiatric hospitals in transition in low and middle-income countries.

Supervisors: Professor Swaran Singh, Dr Helena Tuomainen, Professor Jason Madan