The development and testing of economic skill building training modules to improve women's mental health

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Mental health is an integral part of overall health and deserves the full attention of health care providers. Mental health of women is at risk due to a variety of factors, such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and gender inequity, particularly in the low income developing countries. This study is the beginning phase of a larger study which intends to test economic skill building as a strategy to promote better mental health of women. ' The aim of this present study was to develop and test economic skill building (ESB) training modules with a group of women, as against a counseling and a control group, to measure its impact on women's mental health, in terms of depression, domestic violence, and self-efficacy. The study adopted a two -phase approach to achieve the objective. First, the economic skill building modules were developed with the help of key informants and an in-depth study of related literature. Later, the developed modules were tested, following a community cluster randomized control trial sampling, as against a counseling and a control group, to determine the effectiveness of these modules on women with respect to, depression, prevalence of domestic violence, self-efficacy, and the employment status of the women. The analysis concluded that the ESB modules were effective in improving the self-efficacy of women (p=0.02). However, no significant difference was found with respect to the variables of depression and domestic violence. The findings also revealed that 22% (n=2) of the women who received the ESB intervention obtained employment while none of the women who received counseling or those who belonged to the control group got employment, on completion of the intervention period. However, at the beginning of the intervention period, 11% (n=1) in the ESB group reported being employed, as compared to 28.5% (n=2) women in the counseling and 12.57% (n=1) women in the control group. Therefore, women in the ESB group demonstrated a 22% improvement in the employment level, following an 8-week intervention; however, no changes were noticed in the counseling and the control groups. The findings of this study and the empirical association of improved self-efficacy with mental health, encourage us to assume that the increased self-efficacy of women, who received the ESB intervention may result in report of reduced depression and prevalence of domestic violence among women through further measurements by the larger study. The study findings offer vital recommendations for health care providers and policy makers, with respect to considering an economic skill building intervention for promoting women's mental health. The findings also highlight the importance of further research in the field of economic skill building interventions to promote better self-efficacy and economic well-being in women leading towards their better mental health.

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