Nakash, Ora, Liat Razon, and Itzhak Levav. “Primary Mental Health Prevention Themes in Published Research and Academic Programs in Israel.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).
The World Health Organization Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan (CMHAP) 2013–2020 proposes the implementation of primary prevention strategies to reduce the mental health burden of disease. The extent to which Israeli academic programs and published research adhere to the principles spelled out by the CMHAP is unknown.
To investigate the presence of mental health primary prevention themes in published research and academic programs in Israel.
We searched for mental health primary prevention themes in: (1) three major journals of psychiatry and social sciences during the years 2001–2012; (2) university graduate programs in psychology, social work and medicine in leading universities for the academic year of 2011–2012; and (3) doctoral and master’s theses approved in psychology and social work departments in five universities between the years 2007–2012.
We used a liberal definition of primary prevention to guide the above identification of themes, including those related to theory, methods or research information of direct or indirect application in practice.
Of the 934 articles published in the three journals, 7.2%, n = 67, addressed primary prevention. Of the 899 courses in the 19 graduate programs 5.2%, n = 47, elective courses addressed primary prevention. Of the 1960 approved doctoral and master’s theses 6.2%, n = 123, addressed primary prevention. Only 11 (4.7%) articles, 5 (0.6%) courses, and 5 (0.3%) doctoral and master’s theses addressed primary prevention directly.
The psychiatric reform currently implemented in Israel and WHO CMHAP call for novel policies and course of action in all levels of prevention, including primary prevention. Yet, the latter is rarely a component of mental health education and research activities. The baseline we drew could serve to evaluate future progress in the field.