Use of an integrated Atlas of Mental Health Care for evidence informed policy in Catalonia (Spain)

A. Fernandez, J. A. Salinas-Perez, M. R. Gutierrez-Colosia, B. Prat-Pubill, Antoni Serrano-Blanco, C. Molina, E. Jorda, C. R. Garcia-Alonso, L. Salvador-Carulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background. 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. Method. 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. Results. 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. Conclusions. Policy makers can use Atlases to detect gaps and inequities in the provision of care for people with mental health needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-524
Number of pages13
JournalEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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