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A study of evaluation of comprehensive care of the mentally ill

Objective

The study on Comprehensive Community Care of the Mentally Ill was directed towards the declared and widespread belief that comprehensive community based mental health care was preferable to the erstwhile traditions in Europe of institutional care.
The Study on Comprehensive Community Care of the Mentally Ill was directed towards the declared and widespread belief that comprehensive community based mental health care was preferable to the erstwhile traditions in Europe of institutional care.
While there was much evidence to hand of this movement from institutional to community care there was a near total absence of any programmatic and systematic evaluation of the outcome of this transition process.

In an European Community (EC) sponsored workshop a multifaceted, multinational and multidisciplinary review was made of the current situation on evaluation research of mental health care delivery and the outcome for patients and those who care for them.
A concerted effort has been made in the study to incorporate the important role of primary health care as a component of good mental health care delivery and the importance of attending to the detail of ascertaining the costs of care and the cost effectiveness of the preferred measures.

The workshop overview led immediately to the recognition of a need for an extended, multinational, multicentre initiative to establish a sound framework for monitoring and evaluating the rapid and extensive changes in mental health service delivery and the outcome. A steering committee of senior scientists with research experience in social psychiatry and epidemiology has developed a Concerted Action programme proposal for evaluation of comprehensive care of the mentally ill. The protocol was prepared in discussion and consultation with an extensive network of collaborating centres and institutions through EC member states and in cooperation in the field of scientific and technical research (COST) countries.
While there was much evidence to hand of this movement from institutional to community care with many variations on the theme reflecting national differences in health care systems there was a near total absence of any programmatic and systematic evaluation of the outcome of this transition process.

The Study set about bringing to focus in an EC sponsored workshop multifaceted, multinational and multidisciplinary review of the current situation on evaluation research of mental health care delivery and the outcome for patients and those who care for them.

Apart form the direct results of evaluation emanating from this programme the indirect benefit of the creation of a collaborative network of national research activities in a nascent field of health services research will be achieved. The network so created will provide a focus and a lead for preparation, distribution, testing and application of innovative techniques and measures. Instrumentation appropriate to clinical, social, economic and user needs assessment and provision will be developed, used and tested. The reliability and validity of comparable operational research of mental health care in the EC will be enhanced and strengthened in a field of patient care which has long posed challenges of commitment and product.

Coordinator

Mental Health Foundation
Address
37 Mortimer Street
W1N 7RJ London
United Kingdom