A quantitative analysis of human rights-related attitude changes towards people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities following completion of the WHO Quality Rights e-training in Ghana
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AbstractBackground: Despite growing recognition of essential human rights, people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities' rights are known to be frequently violated in mental healthcare worldwide, with common use of coercive practices and limited recognition of people's right to exercise their legal capacity and make decisions for themselves on treatment and other issues affecting them. To tackle this issue, Ghana adopted the WHO QualityRights Initiative in 2019. This aims to introduce a right-based, person-centred recovery approach within the mental health care system, protecting and promoting the rights of people with mental health conditions, psychosocial, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities in the healthcare context and community.
Method(s): E-training (capacity-building) was provided in Ghana across a broad array of stakeholder groups including healthcare professionals, carers, and people with lived experience. The training covered legal capacity, coercion, community inclusion, recovery approach, service environment, and the negative attitudes commonly held by stakeholder groups; it was completed by 17,000 people in Ghana as of December 2021. We assessed the impact of the e-training on attitudes through comparing trainees' pre- and post-questionnaire responses on 17 items, each measured on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree), such that higher scores indicated negative attitudes towards persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities as rights holders. Analyses were conducted on two main groups: matched pairs (417 pairs of baseline and follow-up questionnaire responses matched to a high degree of certainty), and the unmatched group (4299 individual completed questionnaire responses).
Result(s): We assessed the impact of the WHO QualityRights e-training on attitudes: training resulted in highly significant attitude changes towards alignment with human rights, with scores changing by approximately 40% between baseline and follow-up. In particular, attitude changes were seen in items representing treatment choice, legal capacity, and coercion. This change was not affected by age, gender, or background experience.
Conclusion(s): The QualityRights e-training programme is effective in changing people's (especially healthcare professionals') attitudes towards people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities: this is a step towards mental healthcare being more with human rights-based worldwide.