To assess the outcomes of changes in mental health policy introduced in Italy in 1978.
Data on psychiatric services, before and after the policy change, are presented.
Effects of change are evaluated through indicators related to four issues : transfer of care, criminalisation of the mentally ill, suicides, and homelessness.
Admissions of new patients to mental hospitals have been stopped and the size of the mental hospital population is now very low (26 per 100 000 population).
Psychiatric care has been shifted to community services including general hospital psychiatric units.
There has been an overall reduction of psychiatric hospitalisation.
However, the provision of residential facilities is inadequate and community services are unevenly distributed across the country.
Few negative effects of changing patterns of care have been reported, although the low quality of data limits the validity of such a conclusion.
Outcome of care in areas where the full range of community services is available has been rated as satisfactory.
Although care of the mentally ill has been shifted to community services, we lack hard data on the social and clinical outcome of communty care at the nation-wide level.
Long-term monitoring and evaluation of community services is a high priority in Italy.
Mots-clés Pascal : Politique sanitaire, Santé mentale, Italie, Europe, Evolution, Service santé, Désinstitutionnalisation, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Health policy, Mental health, Italy, Europe, Evolution, Health service, Desinstitutionalization, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0531632
Code Inist : 002B18H05A. Création : 23/03/1999.