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This paper aims to present the Integrated Atlas of Mental Health of Catalonia (2010) focusing on: (a) the importance of using a taxonomy-based coding and standard system of data collection when assessing health services; and (b) its relevance as a tool for evidence-informed policy.
This study maps all the care-related services for people with mental disorders available in Catalonia in 2010, using the ‘Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for long-term care’ (DESDE-LTC). The unit of analysis is the Basic Stable Input of Care (BSIC), which is the minimal organisation unit composed by a set of inputs with temporal stability. We presented data on: (a) availability of BSICs and their capacity; (b) the adequacy of the provision of care, taking into account availability and accessibility; (c) the evolution of BSCIs from 2002 to 2010; and (d) the perceived relevance of Atlas of Mental Health as a tool for evidence-informed policy.
We identified a total of 639 BSICs. A lack of Health services was detected in highly rural areas, although there was moderate availability of Social Services. Overall, more than 80% of the small mental health areas in Catalonia had an adequate core mental health service. Since 2002 the availability of mental health services has increased. Decision makers found the Atlas a useful and relevant tool for evidence informed policy.
Policy makers can use Atlases to detect gaps and inequities in the provision of care for people with mental health needs.
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