Establishing evidence to inform culturally competent mental health services: A mixed methods study protocol

Ge Yu, Maria Panagioti, Eugene Y H Tang, Damian Robinson, Nusrat Husain, Reena Lasrado, Karina Lovell, Eileen Kaner, Yu Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has exacerbated the significant and longstanding mental health inequalities for ethnic minorities, who were less likely to access mental health support in primary care but more likely to end up in crisis care compared to the majority ethnic group. Services were poorly offered and accessed to respond to the increased mental health challenges.

AIM: To 1) establish evidence on which changes to mental health services provided in response to COVID-19 are beneficial for ethnic minorities who experience mental health difficulties in the North of England, and 2) to inform what and how culturally competent mental health services should be routinely provided.

METHODS: A mixed methods approach comprising 1) a rapid review to map services and models of care designed or adjusted for mental health during the pandemic, 2) an observational study of retrospective routine data to assess changes to mental health services and associated outcomes, 3) qualitative interviews to understand experiences of seeking care and factors associated with high-quality service provision, and 4) a Delphi study to establish consensus on key features of culturally competent services. From the selected areas in the North of England, adults from ethnic minorities who experience mental health difficulties will be identified from the primary, community and secondary care services and local ethnic minority communities.

DISCUSSION: This study will identify ways to tackle health inequalities and contribute to mental health service recovery post pandemic by providing practice recommendations on equitable and effective services to ensure culturally competent and high-quality care. A list of services and features on what and how mental health services will be provided. Working with study collaborators and public and patient involvement partners, the study findings will be widely disseminated through presentations, conferences and publications and will inform the subsequent funding application for intervention development and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0282445
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2023


  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Ethnicity/psychology
  • Minority Groups/psychology
  • Cultural Competency
  • Retrospective Studies
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Mental Health Services
  • Observational Studies as Topic


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