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Identifying Local and Centralized Mental Health Services—The Development of a New Categorizing Variable
Open AccessArticle

A Comparison of Mental Health Care Systems in Northern and Southern Europe: A Service Mapping Study

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Department of Social Services and Health Care, City of Helsinki, Southern Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic, Työpajankatu 14, FI-00099 Helsinki, Finland
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University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Välskärinkatu 12, FI-00029 Helsinki, Finland
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Unit for Mental Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL); Mannerheimintie 168, FI-00270 Helsinki, Finland
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PSICOST Research Association, Department of Psychology, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, C/Energía Solar 1, 41014 Sevilla, Spain
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PSICOST Research Association, Department of Quantitative Methods, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, C/Energía Solar 1, 41014 Sevilla, Spain
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University of Tampere School of Health Sciences, and Tampere University Hospital, Lääkärinkatu 1, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
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Mental Health & Addiction Research Group, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques de Girona (IdibGI)-Institut d’Assistència Sanitària, 17190 Salt Girona, Spain
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VIDEA Lab, Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, 63 Eggleston Rd, Acton ACT 2601, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061133
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and its Social and Cultural Implications)
Mental health services (MHS) have gone through vast changes during the last decades, shifting from hospital to community-based care. Developing the optimal balance and use of resources requires standard comparisons of mental health care systems across countries. This study aimed to compare the structure, personnel resource allocation, and the productivity of the MHS in two benchmark health districts in a Nordic welfare state and a southern European, family-centered country. The study is part of the REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care) project. The study areas were the Helsinki and Uusimaa region in Finland and the Girona region in Spain. The MHS were mapped by using the DESDE-LTC (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories for Long Term Care) tool. There were 6.7 times more personnel resources in the MHS in Helsinki and Uusimaa than in Girona. The resource allocation was more residential-service-oriented in Helsinki and Uusimaa. The difference in mental health personnel resources is not explained by the respective differences in the need for MHS among the population. It is important to make a standard comparison of the MHS for supporting policymaking and to ensure equal access to care across European countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health services; mental health care; deinstitutionalization; main type of care; standard comparison; community care mental health services; mental health care; deinstitutionalization; main type of care; standard comparison; community care
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Sadeniemi, M.; Almeda, N.; Salinas-Pérez, J.A.; Gutiérrez-Colosía, M.R.; García-Alonso, C.; Ala-Nikkola, T.; Joffe, G.; Pirkola, S.; Wahlbeck, K.; Cid, J.; Salvador-Carulla, L. A Comparison of Mental Health Care Systems in Northern and Southern Europe: A Service Mapping Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1133.

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