Population level of unmet need for mental healthcare in Europe
Alonso, Jordi × Codony, Miquel Kovess, Viviane Angermeyer, Matthias C Katz, Steven J Haro, Josep M De Girolamo, Giovanni De Graaf, Ron Demyttenaere, Koen Vilagut, Gemma Almansa, Josué Lépine, Jean Pierre Brugha, Traolach S #
The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science vol:190 pages:299-306
BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of mental disorders has fuelled controversy about the need for mental health services. AIMS: To estimate unmet need for mental healthcare at the population level in Europe. METHOD: As part of the European Study of Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project, a cross-sectional survey was conducted of representative samples of the adult general population of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain (n=8796). Mental disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview 3.0. Individuals with a 12-month mental disorder that was disabling or that had led to use of services in the previous 12 months were considered in need of care. RESULTS: About six per cent of the sample was defined as being in need of mental healthcare. Nearly half (48%) of these participants reported no formal healthcare use. In contrast, only 8% of the people with diabetes had reported no use of services for their physical condition. In total, 3.1% of the adult population had an unmet need for mental healthcare. About 13% of visits to formal health services were made by individuals without any mental morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high unmet need for mental care in Europe, which may not be eliminated simply by reallocating existing healthcare resources.