This rapid review analyses the evidence on the effectiveness of mental health promotion
interventions in low and middle-income countries (LAMICs). The review provides a narrative
synthesis, based on a systematic review of the evidence under four key areas; interventions
targeting individuals, communities, the health sector and intersectoral actions.
Searching a range of electronic databases, a total of 46 studies employing RCTs or quasiexperimental
designs, were identified. Of these studies, 38 evaluating 35 separate interventions
were assessed employing the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies developed by the
Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP).
The findings indicate that effective mental health promotion interventions which lead to
improvements in mental health, and related health and social gains, can be effectively
implemented in LAMIC settings. There is robust evidence concerning the effectiveness of
interventions promoting maternal and child mental health and school-based programmes. There
are promising findings concerning community-based interventions and the potential of
intersectoral actions in LAMICs deserve further investigation and support. Evidence for the
sustainability and effectiveness of these interventions when integrated into routine settings in
LAMICs needs to be strengthened. The implications of the review findings for future research,
policy and practice in LAMICs are discussed.