Introduces mental health as an integral part of global health research, including conducting needs assessments and intervention monitoring and evaluation. Presents and critiques strategies for integrating local cultural perspectives into research models. Examines methods of adapting psychiatric assessment tools for use cross-culturally and presents challenges for developing interventions for use in low-resource contexts. Encourages use of critical and creative thinking skills throughout to discuss the issues involved in this relatively new area of study.
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Students planning to do mental health research or planning for mental health services in low-resource settings.
Participation, short research proposal, and a brief final presentation.
Introduction to Online Learning is a required prerequisite. I would also recommend the course Psychiatric Epidemiology, but it is not required.
Judith Bass, PhD, MPH
Office hours can be arranged on a case-by-case basis and can be in-person or by phone or skype. Please email if you want to set up a time to talk.
Maya will have weekly TA hours on Mondays from 12-1pm. She will available on skype during this hour each Monday at skype address: JH_GMHcourse
Please obtain the following:
This is a three-credit course that runs for eight weeks. The course will begin with overview lectures on defining mental health and understanding the epidemiology of disorders in the developing world, including risk and resiliency issues. This will be followed by a series of lectures on cross-cultural research methods, including an introduction to qualitative methods for mental health research, a review of issues related to assessment validity, and a critical review of different prevention and intervention strategies. The course will end with topical classes that bring together the different research issues raised in earlier classes.
Review the Course Content page for each assignment date and deadline. The course grading policy is outlined below.
There are four LiveTalks scheduled for the course. Students should plan to be available for the LiveTalk sessions and the dates and times are listed on the course schedule. This term we will be trying something new with the LiveTalks, In the first 10-15 minutes of the LiveTalk, I will do a short introduction and introduce some discussion questions, then the students will break up into 3 discussion groups that will be organized ahead of time. The TA and I will 'visit' each discussion group for a period of about 15 minutes each to participate in the discussion, but otherwise, the groups will work to discuss the questions based on the readings and their own experiences. We will end the LiveTalk with me presenting an overall summary of the discussion. After the LiveTalk is completed, the discussion can continue using the BBS feature.
If it is not possible to attend a LiveTalk session, please listen to the archived version as soon as possible and post questions, comments to the BBS discussion. The class participation grade is based on attending or listening to the archived LiveTalks and participating in the BBS.
LiveTalk 4 will be a group discussion about the research proposals where you will each discuss the questions raised related to your posted presentation. More details are available in the instructions for the proposal presentations.
General issues—There will be a BBS area for each of you to introduce yourself, talk about your interest and background in mental health and international work. Each week, there will be an open BBS for unstructured discussions. Please feel free to use this to ask each other questions, give examples from your own work and present ideas. There will also be a BBS open for the duration of the course for you to post questions about the assignments. Faculty will check these BBS sites regularly to respond to questions and participate in the discussions.
During this course, VoiceThread presentations will be posted based to present new study results or provide more general presentations of material to supplement the content of the course. The VoiceThread format allows students to post text or voice comments on individual slides and to generate discussion with the class and with the faculty. Information about new VoiceThread presentations will be emailed to the class. Providing thoughtful comments and ideas to the VoiceThread presentation(s) will also add to the class participation grade.
Over the course of the term, you will each develop an original research protocol on the global mental health topic and population of your own interest.
We will provide you with sample proposals from previous years and you will develop the proposal over the eight weeks to promote learning and applied writing skills. Students are encouraged to work with the instructor to discuss their topics and may request help in developing their proposal ideas. Students are invited to submit each section of the proposal over the course of the term to get feedback from the faculty, but these individual submissions will not be graded. Only the final submission of the complete proposal will be graded. The proposal is limited to 10 pages maximum, proposals over that limit will have points reduced from the total grade. The sections of the proposal will include the following:
Statement of problem and literature review
Students are expected to obtain relevant background information on a mental health issue of choice. The review can encompass both Western and developing country literature, but must focus on the issue as it may present in a low- or middle-resource context or conflict zone.
Assessment and study protocol
Students will be expected to research the assessment of the mental health issue they chose and discuss how they will modify an existing instrument, or if necessary develop a new one, as relevant to the developing country they are proposing to work in. The study protocol will continue to be developed in the context of understanding the cultural and logistical issues of working in these areas.
For the final piece of the proposal, students will be expected to cohesively lay out the major public health implications of the study, limitations and ethical issues related to the proposed research, and possible next steps in terms of research, policy and/or intervention development.
At the end of the course, students will be required to do a short pitch of their research proposal, outlining the major goals and basic approach. Students will put together a VoiceThread presentation with a maximum of 3-5 slides (including cover slide) that will last a maximum of five minutes to present and respond to questions from the faculty and fellow students.
We expect you to complete the two graded assignments (research proposal and proposal pitch) on time. We can't issue grade reports until we receive all assignments. Therefore, to be fair to other students, we will penalize unapproved late submissions incrementally per day. If illness or special circumstances impact completing an assignment on time, students are required to contact the instructor or TA prior to the due date to discuss options.
This course covers the following topics:
Special attention is paid to cross-cultural challenges in conducting appropriate mental health research in low-resource settings.
The course assignments are designed as practical exercises to help you learn about the challenges of doing cross-cultural mental health research in low-resource contexts. They include the following:
This course is graded on a strict point system as described below. Do not expect a curve.
|Total Percentage||Course Grade|
|59 or below||F|
|Note: C or above = "Pass" for those taking the course pass/fail.|
Each LiveTalk session will be offered once. If you are not able to attend a LiveTalk session, you can still earn credit. To receive credit for the LiveTalk you must read/listen to the archive of the LiveTalk session and post a response to the BBS under the appropriate category "LiveTalk Makeup."
Feedback from students each year has greatly enhanced the course.
We do listen. Student feedback has greatly shaped revisions to this course. Please take the time to give us yours.
Concerns about course topics and assignments
Technical concerns about the functionality and operation of course Web pages (before emailing, please make sure that you can replicate the problem)
Technical help with JHSPH email or desktop applications
We recognize that there are students from across the globe taking this course. We ask that each of you be courteous and cooperative with time zone and other issues of your fellow classmates. Please be sure that everyone has an opportunity for input and actively participates in the group assignments. If there are significant problems, contact the TA before due dates.
Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.
Students should be familiar with the policies and procedures specified under Policy and Procedure Manual Student-01 (Academic Ethics), available on the school’s http://my.jhsph.edu portal.
The faculty, staff and students of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University have the shared responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the law and respects the rights of others. Students enrolled in the School are subject to the Student Conduct Code (detailed in Policy and Procedure Manual Student-06) and assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner which upholds the law and respects the rights of others. They are responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the institution and for preserving an environment conducive to the safe pursuit of the School's educational, research, and professional practice missions.