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The European Service Mapping Schedule (ESMS): development of an instrumentfor the description and classificationof mental health services

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Objective: This paper describes the development of an instrument for description and classification of mental health services and for measurement of service use. Purposes to be served by the instrument include: (i) identification of gaps in the spectrum of services in a catchment area; (ii) obtaining background information which may be important to understanding why apparently similar interventions lead to different outcomes in different areas; (iii) investigating how introduction of a particular type of service influences use of other local services; and (iv) understanding the relationship between sociodemographic factors and service use.

Method: The instrument was developed through meetings of an international expert panel and pilot stages in several European countries.

Results: Use of the European Mapping Service Mapping Schedule (ESMS) appears feasible in several countries and allowed description and classification of the full range of services identified within each of the study catchment areas.

Conclusion: The ESMS promises to fill a gap in the technology available for mental health services research. Further practical experiences of its use for a variety of purposes in a variety of settings are now needed to indicate how far the ESMS does successfully generate data which are useful to researchers and planners.

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Keywords: mental health services (classification); mental health services (organization and administr; mental health services (supply and distribution); mental health services (trends); mental health services (utilization)

Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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