Use of mental health services in Europe: Results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project

Jordi Alonso, Matthias C. Angermeyer, Sebastian Bernert, Ronny Bruffaerts, Traolach S. Brugha, Heather Bryson, Giovanni De Girolamo, Ron De Graaf, Koen Demyttenaere, Isabelle Gasquet, Josep Maria Haro, Steven J. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Viviane Kovess, Jean Pierre Lépine, Johan Ormel, Gabriella Polidori, Leo J. Russo, Gemma Vilagut, Josué AlmansaSaena Arbabzadeh-Bouchez, Jaume Autonell, Mariola Bernal, Martine A. Buist-Bouwman, Miquel Codony, Antonia Domingo-Salvany, Montserrat Ferrer, Sam S. Joo, Montserrat Martínez-Alonso, Herbert Matschinger, Fausto Mazzi, Zoe Morgan, Pierluigi Morosini, Concepció Palacín, Berta Romera, Nick Taub, Wilma A M Vollebergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Comprehensive information about access and patterns of use of mental health services in Europe is lacking. We present the first results of the use of health services for mental disorders in six European countries as part of the ESEMeD project. Method: The study was conducted in: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Individuals aged 18 years and over who were not institutionalized were eligible for an computer-assisted interview done at home. The 21 425 participants were asked to report how frequently they consulted formal health services due to their emotions or mental health, the type of professional they consulted and the treatment they received as a result of their consultation in the previous year. Results: An average of 6.4% of the total sample had consulted formal health services in the previous 12 months. Of the participants with a 12-month mental disorder, 25.7% had consulted a formal health service during that period. This proportion was higher for individuals with a mood disorder (36.5%, 95% CI 32.5-40.5) than for those with anxiety disorders (26.1%, 95% CI 23.1-29.1). Among individuals with a 12-month mental disorder who had contacted the health services 12 months previously, approximately two-thirds had contacted a mental health professional. Among those with a 12-month mental disorder consulting formal health services, 21.2% received no treatment. Conclusion: The ESEMeD results suggest that the use of health services is limited among individuals with mental disorders in the European countries studied. The factors associated with this limited access and their implications deserve further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume109
Issue numberSUPPL. 420
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Health policy
  • Health services
  • Mental disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)

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