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Development of the International Classification of Mental Health Care (ICMHC)

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Objective: Evaluations of the process of providing mental health care have been hampered because a tool to systematically describe the interventions actually provided by the services was lacking. In this paper the development of such a tool (the International Classification of Mental Health Care; ICMHC) is described.

Method: Subsequent versions of the ICMHC were developed, using comments from experts in 24 WHO field centres and results from a number of field trials. In the final version 10 Modalities of Care can be used to describe Modules of Care, using the Level of Specialization scale. The inter-rater reliability of this version was evaluated by the Italian research team, using data from 43 services.

Results: Reliability ranged from excellent for nine modalities to reasonably good for the remaining modality.

Conclusion: In the context of evaluation studies, the ICMHC can be used to describe systematically mental health care interventions.

Keywords: delivery of health care trends; health services research trends; mental health services trends; outcome and process assessment; quality assurance

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: University of Groningen, Department of Social Psychiatry, Groningen, the Netherlands

Publication date: October 1, 2000


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