Depression in Zimbabwe: a community approach to prevention and treatment
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This paper reports on a process whereby research findings, generated by a collaborative project between primary health care workers and a University team, were utilized by a community to formulate local plans for the prevention and management of depression. Action-oriented research, with a high level of community participation, follows on directly from the Declaration of Alma-Ata1 and has been called Health Systems Research (HSR). The principle of HSR is that it should be useful and have a direct focus on solving practical and relevant problems.2 Priorities should be generated by health workers and by the community rather than purely by academics and as much as possible of the research should be carried out by those already working at ground level. Results should lead to implementable recommendations and the research is not complete until those recommendations are underway.