Pilot of a Residential Workshop on Character Strengths-Based Coaching of Rural Community Health Workers in India: Challenges and Opportunities (69234)

Session Information: Mental Health
Session Chair: Xueqin Huang

Sunday, April 2, 2023 16:20
Session: 3
Room: 705
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

There is scarce evidence on interventions leveraging personal strengths to help community health workers (CHWs) respond to work stress in low-resource settings. Our study describes the reflections from pilot of positive-psychology based coaching intervention for rural (female) CHWs in India, as part of a randomized control trial. Three batches of CHWs (n=35) received a 5-day residential workshop by two ‘facilitators’, supported by two coaches. Content was divided into four modules, including various character strengths-based strategies (e.g., ‘strengths habit’, ‘positive reappraisal with strengths’ and ‘three good things’) along with mindfulness, emotional regulation, prioritization and goal-setting. Challenges included: gradual participant engagement (pre-conceived notions about the workshop being a ‘typical training’), slower content absorption (for multi-step strategies), distractions (health issues, menstrual cramps, worries about family members/child at home), and individual factors (low literacy/reading skills). The intervention team used morning revision-sessions, energizers (games or stretching exercises), roleplays/group discussions, and end-of-the-day activities (music) to enhance participation. Pre- and post-workshop assessments revealed a 15% improvement in knowledge scores. About 82% of CHWs found the workshop satisfactory, and 75% found its content usable across work-life domains. After the workshop, CHWs received weekly telephonic support calls by the coaches for 8 weeks. CHWs perceived these calls as a ‘space’ to discuss their challenges, which also helped the coaches to tailor their strategies. This study illustrates a mix of face-to-face and remote coaching methods to enable rural CHWs to cope with work-stress. Further research is needed to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing burnout, and replicability in similar global settings.

Azaz Khan, Sangath, India
Lochan Sharma, Sangath, India
Deepak Tugnawat, Sangath, India
Ameya Bondre, Sangath, India

About the Presenter(s)
Lochan is an Anthropologist and a Public Health Researcher, and is a currently working as Intervention Coordinator at Sangath, Bhopal (India). Her research interests lie in the field of mental health, care inequities, gender and health policies.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00