Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Mental health service delivery

Patients with mental health problems in addition to somatic ones (combined morbidity) are almost exclusively cared for in the general health care sector. They run a higher risk of physical complications, demonstrate more severe functional impairment, have higher mortality and are more costly at all levels of treatment and rehabilitation. Single site studies show mental health consultation liaison (CL) involvement to be effective both on clinical and on cost outcomes. Guidelines are being formulated for mental health (CL) service delivery in the general hospital setting through the description of the nature and organization of mental health CL services in general hospitals and the assessment of the impact of the availability of these mental health services on the quantity and quality of its service delivery. A targeted side effect is the development of a European network and the support of national groups in the CL field.

A manual based comprehensive instrument for the description of patients, referral patterns, CL interventions and outcomes was developed. All participants were trained to strict reliability criteria. In the 56 participating centres approximately 15000 consecutive referrals were documented over a 1 year period. Background variables concerning the general hospital, other available psychosocial services, the participating CL service and the participating individual consultants were assessed through standardized instruments, developed for the study. Based on the patient and background related data, numerous studies are under way within these separate fields of observation. Based on assessments of the populations and distributions studied the impact of the background variables on the quantity and quality of CL services will be studied. Wherever possible the findings will be related to the results of national surveys on CL services.

Reported by

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
de Boelelaan
1007 MB Amsterdam
Netherlands
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