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EPA guidance on the quality of mental health services

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2020

W. Gaebel
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
T. Becker
Department of Psychiatry II, University of Ulm, Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg, Germany
B. Janssen
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
P. Munk-Jorgensen
Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
M. Musalek
Anton Proksch Institute, Vienna, Austria
W. Rössler
Department of General and Social Psychiatry, Psychiatric University Zürich, and the Collegium Helveticum (University of Zürich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH)), Zürich, Switzerland
K. Sommerlad
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
M. Tansella
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
G. Thornicroft
Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom
J. Zielasek
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
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The main aim of this guidance of the European Psychiatric Association is to provide evidence-based recommendations on the quality of mental health services in Europe. The recommendations were derived from a systematic search of the best available evidence in the scientific literature, supplemented by information from documents retrieved upon reviewing the identified articles. While most recommendations could be based on empirical studies (although of varying quality), some had to be based on expert opinion alone, but were deemed necessary as well. Another limitation was that the wide variety of service models and service traditions for the mentally ill worldwide often made generalisations difficult. In spite of these limitations, we arrived at 30 recommendations covering structure, process and outcome quality both on a generic and a setting-specific level. Operationalisations for each recommendation with measures to be considered as denominators and numerators are given as well to suggest quality indicators for future benchmarking across European countries. Further pan-European research will need to show whether the implementation of this guidance will lead to improved quality of mental healthcare, and may help to develop useful country-specific cutoffs for the suggested quality indicators.

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Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2012

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