A patient-student co-creation quality improvement project raising mental health awareness in an Arab patient population in a primary care setting

Talk Code: 
Nour Houbby, Aida Abdelwahed
Aida Abdelwahed, Sonia Kumar
Author institutions: 
Imperial College London


The literature recognises the stigmatisation of mental health in Arab patient populations and the lack of awareness of culturally appropriate resources available. During a ten-week placement in primary care (in year 3 of MBBS) as part of a quality improvement project, we conducted a needs analysis exploring the negative perceptions attached to Mental Health in the Arab community and lack of exposure to community appropriate sources of help, both acting as barriers to seeking patient’s support. The aim of our uniquely angled co-creation project was therefore to create, with Arab patients from the GP Practice, an informative and inclusive ‘stop-motion’ Mental Health animation video to address the stigmatisation and lack of awareness of mental health services in Arab communities in a culturally sensitive and language appropriate way, moving away from traditional intervention mediums.


We selected 10 Arab patients with either current or past mental health issues to conduct a needs analysis and co-create with us (students) an animation video for viewing in the GP waiting room. The storyline and characters featured in the video were inspired by real patient experiences making them relevant and directly applicable to the GP’s Arab- centric patient demographic. Our qualitative study design facilitated the exploration of perceptions in three study populations using questionnaires: 1) patients who were involved in this co-creation project 2) Patient in the waiting room of their perceptions having watched the animation video 3) Staff at the practice of their views of having such a resource for this patient group.


We will present results from our intial needs anaylsis and results from evaluative questionnaires currently being administered to the three study populations above. At the time of the presentation we will have collected and analysed the data in these three groups, presenting key themes that emerge.


This novel quality improvement project has wider implications for both medical education and service delivery. Involvement in such meaningful assessments has great implications for medical students learning about the wider sociocultural determinants of health giving them opportunities to make a direct difference to patient care with responsibility.This intervention demonstrates how a video can influence potential shifts in perceptions of Mental Health within Arab communities increasing their access to the healthcare system. Creation of such a Mental Health intervention also highlights the use of a digital platform as an engaging method to encourage inclusivity and understanding at the level of the individual and the wider community rather than traditional practice based leaflets. Lastly, encouraging other GP Practices or clinical commissioning groups to adopt such a holistic approach to other areas of patient education would facilitate a more collaborative approach between healthcare professionals and patients equalising the power dynamics and health inequalities seen in certain ethnic groups.

Submitted by: 
Nour Houbby
Funding acknowledgement: