Methodology for task-shifting evidence-based psychological treatments to non-licenced/lay health workers: Protocol for a systematic review

Kathryn E. Kanzler, Lisa Smith Kilpela, Jaqueline Pugh, Luz M. Garcini, Christine S. Gaspard, James Aikens, Erick Reynero, Joel Tsevat, Eliot Santana Lopez, Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, Amelie G. Ramirez, Erin P. Finley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction â € Task-shifting' or â € task-sharing' is an effective strategy for delivering behavioural healthcare in lower resource communities. However, little is known regarding the actual steps (methods) in carrying out a task-shifting project. This paper presents a protocol for a systematic review that will identify steps in adapting an evidence-based psychological treatment for delivery by lay/non-licenced personnel. Methods and analysis A systematic review of peer-reviewed, published studies involving a non-licenced, non-specialist (eg, community health worker, promotor/a, peer and lay person) delivering an evidence-based psychological treatment for adults will be conducted. Study design of selected articles must include a statistical comparison (eg, randomised controlled trials, quasiexperimental trials, pre-post designs and pragmatic trials). Study selection will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SCOPUS, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, APA PsycInfo and Google Scholar will be searched from 2000 to 2020. Risk of bias will be assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's Risk of Bias (RoB 2) tool, and publication bias will be evaluated with the Cochrane GRADE approach. A narrative synthesis will be conducted for all included studies, and a summary table following Proctor's framework for operationalising implementation strategies will be included. This protocol was developed following the 2015 guidelines of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols. Ethics and dissemination This review will analyse data from published studies only; thus, it will not require institutional board review. Findings will be presented at conferences, to the broader community via the Community Health Worker Translational Advisory Board and social media, and the final systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere044012
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • mental health
  • organisation of health services
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Methodology for task-shifting evidence-based psychological treatments to non-licenced/lay health workers: Protocol for a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this