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.
Mental health care; Community care; Standard comparison
Sadeniemi M, Almeda N, Salinas-Pérez JA, Gutiérrez-Colosía MR, García-Alonso C, Ala-Nikkola T, et al. A Comparison of Mental Health Care Systems in Northern and Southern Europe: A Service Mapping Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 31 May 2018;15(6):E1133.
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