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Open AccessArticle

Developing a Service Platform Definition to Promote Evidence-Based Planning and Funding of the Mental Health Service System

by Yong Yi Lee 1,2,*, Carla S. Meurk 1,2,†, Meredith G. Harris 1,2,†, Sandra Diminic 1,2,†, Roman W. Scheurer 2,† and Harvey A. Whiteford 1,2,†
1
School of Population Health, University of Queensland, via Level 2, Public Health Building, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
2
Policy and Epidemiology Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Queensland Health, via Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, The Park Centre for Mental Health, Locked Bag 500, Sumner Park BC, QLD 4074, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12261-12282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212261
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Care)
Ensuring that a mental health system provides ‘value for money’ requires policy makers to allocate resources to the most cost-effective interventions. Organizing cost-effective interventions into a service delivery framework will require a concept that can guide the mapping of evidence regarding disorder-level interventions to aggregations of services that are meaningful for policy makers. The ‘service platform’ is an emerging concept that could be used to this end, however no explicit definition currently exists in the literature. The aim of this study was to develop a service platform definition that is consistent with how policy makers conceptualize the major elements of the mental health service system and to test the validity and utility of this definition through consultation with mental health policy makers. We derived a provisional definition informed by existing literature and consultation with experienced mental health researchers. Using a modified Delphi method, we obtained feedback from nine Australian policy makers. Respondents provided written answers to a questionnaire eliciting their views on the acceptability, comprehensibility and usefulness of a service platform definition which was subject to qualitative analysis. Overall, respondents understood the definition and found it both acceptable and useful, subject to certain conditions. They also provided suggestions for its improvement. Our findings suggest that the service platform concept could be a useful way of aggregating mental health services as a means for presenting priority setting evidence to policy makers in mental health. However, further development and testing of the concept is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: service platform; health systems; mental health; priority setting; decision making; health planning; health policy; cost-effectiveness; Delphi method; qualitative analysis service platform; health systems; mental health; priority setting; decision making; health planning; health policy; cost-effectiveness; Delphi method; qualitative analysis
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Lee, Y.Y.; Meurk, C.S.; Harris, M.G.; Diminic, S.; Scheurer, R.W.; Whiteford, H.A. Developing a Service Platform Definition to Promote Evidence-Based Planning and Funding of the Mental Health Service System. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12261-12282.

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