Publication

Potential for substitution of mental health care towards family practices: an observational study

Magnee, T., de Beurs, D. P., Boxem, R., de Bakker, D. H. & Verhaak, P. F., 31-Jan-2017, In : BMC Family Practice. 18, 10, 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Tessa Magnee
  • Derek P. de Beurs
  • Richard Boxem
  • Dinny H. de Bakker
  • Peter F. Verhaak

Background: Substitution is the shift of care from specialized health care to less expensive and more accessible primary health care. It seems promising for restraining rising mental health care costs. The goal of this study was to investigate a potential for substitution of patients with psychological or social problems, but without severe psychiatric disorders, from Dutch specialized mental health care to primary care, especially family practices.

Methods: We extracted anonymized data from two national databases representing primary and specialized care in 2012. We calculated the number of patients with and without psychiatric disorder per 1,000 citizens in three major settings: family practices, primary care psychologists, and specialized care. Family physicians recorded psychopathology using the International Classification of Primary Care, while psychologists and specialists used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition.

Results: Considerable numbers of patients without a diagnosed DSM-IV psychiatric disorder were treated by primary care psychologists (32.8%) or in specialized care (20.8%). Over half of the patients referred by family physicians to mental health care did not have a psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion: A recent reform of Dutch mental health care, including new referral criteria, will likely increase the number of patients with psychological or social problems that family physicians have to treat or support. Enabling and improving diagnostic assessment and treatment in family practices seems essential for substitution of mental health care.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Family Practice
Volume18
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 31-Jan-2017

    Keywords

  • Family practice, Mental health, Psychiatric disorders, Primary care, Health services, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL, 6 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS, DEPRESSION, DISORDERS, METAANALYSIS, MANAGEMENT, PSYCHIATRY, ANXIETY, NURSES

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