Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Exploration of recovery of people living with severe mental illness (SMI) in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC): a scoping review protocol
  1. Fadia Gamieldien1,2,
  2. Roshan Galvaan2,
  3. Bronwyn Myers3,4,
  4. Katherine Sorsdahl1
  1. 1 Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2 Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
  4. 4 Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Fadia Gamieldien; fadia.gamieldien{at}


Introduction The construct of recovery was conceptualised in high-income countries and its applicability in low-income and middle- income countries is underexplored. A scoping review is proposed to synthesise knowledge, review conceptual overlap and map key elements of recovery from severe mental illness in low-income and middle-income countries. We aim to appraise the literature so as to inform future recovery-oriented services that consider the cultural and contextual influences on recovery from severe mental illness.

Methods and analysis The following electronic databases: MEDLINE via PubMed, SCOPUS (which included contents of Embase), PsycINFO, CINAHL, Africa-Wide Information, PsycARTICLES, Health source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Academic Search Premier and SocINDEX all via the EBSCOHOST platform, the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature, the Cochrane Centre Register of Controlled Trials) and grey literature sources will be searched between May and December 2019. Eligible studies will be independently screened for inclusion and exclusion by two reviewers using a checklist developed for this purpose. Studies published between January 1993 and November 2019 that focus on recovery from severe mental illness in a low-income and middle-income country will be included. Findings will be compared and discrepancies will be discussed. Unresolved discrepancies will be referred to a third reviewer. All bibliographic data and study characteristics will be extracted and thematically analysed using a tool developed through an iterative process by the research team. Indicators will be classified according to a predefined conceptual framework and categorised and described using qualitative content analysis.

Ethics and dissemination The review aims to synthesise information from available publications, hence it does not require ethical approval. The results will be disseminated through publications, conference presentations and future workshops with stakeholders involved within the recovery paradigm of mental health policy and practice. The scoping review title is registered with the Joanna Briggs Institute.

  • recovery
  • severe mental illness
  • scoping review
  • low-and-middle- income countries

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @fadiagam

  • Contributors This protocol was developed by the intellectual contributions of all the authors. All authors were involved in developing the review question and conceptualising the approach. FG developed and tested the search terms in consultation with a subject librarian. FG and KS developed the data extraction guideline, and this was revised based on feedback from the other authors. RG, KS and BM provided substantial critique and review of the draft protocol.

  • Funding This work was supported by the DELTAS Africa Initiative (DEL-15-01). The DELTAS Africa Initiative is an independent funding scheme of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) and supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) with funding from the Wellcome Trust (DEL-15-01) and the UK government. BM is funded through the South African Medical Research Council.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AAS, NEPAD Agency, WellcomeTrust or the UK government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.