Learn, Engage, Act, Dedicate (LEAD): development and feasibility testing of a task-shifted intervention to improve alcohol use, depression and family engagement for fathers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Men's depression, alcohol use, and family problems commonly co-occur to create of cluster of mental health problems. Yet, few treatments exist to address these problems, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). This paper describes the development and initial feasibility and acceptability of a novel task-shifted intervention to address this cluster of men's mental health problems with a focus on engaging and retaining men in treatment.


The intervention, Learn, Engage, Act, Dedicate (LEAD), is based in behavioral activation blended with motivational interviewing and was pilot tested in Kenya. To develop LEAD, we engaged in a community-engaged multi-step, collaborative process with local Kenyan stakeholders. LEAD was piloted with nine fathers reporting problem drinking. To assess initial feasibility and acceptability, recruitment and participation were tracked and descriptive statistics were generated given engagement of men was key for proof of concept. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants and analyzed using thematic content analysis.


The development process resulted in a weekly 5-session intervention rooted in behavioral activation, motivational interviewing, and masculinity discussion strategies. These approaches were combined and adapted to fit contextually salient constructs, such as the importance of the man as provider, and streamlined for lay providers. Feasibility and acceptability results were promising with high attendance, acceptability of delivery and intervention content, and perceived intervention helpfulness.


Results describe an acceptable task-shifted treatment that may engage men in care and addresses a cluster of common mental health problems among men in ways that consider social determinants like masculinity. Findings set the stage for a larger trial. Trial registration ISRCTN, ISRCTN130380278. Registered 7 October 2019-Retrospectively registered, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN13038027.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Giusto, AM; Ayuku, D; Puffer, ES

Published Date

  • March 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 16 -

PubMed ID

  • 35246218

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8896316

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1752-4458

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1752-4458

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13033-022-00522-1


  • eng