The development of psychiatric care after the mental health care reform in Sweden. A case register study

Nord J Psychiatry. 2005;59(3):186-92. doi: 10.1080/08039480510023061.


A process of deinstitutionalization and a series of mental health care reforms targeting severely mentally ill persons have taken place worldwide. The objective of this study was to follow-up the volume of psychiatric care after the 1995 Swedish reform and to study if the intended efforts of the reform were fulfilled. In a municipality, during the time-period 1994-2003, the development of number of days of inpatient care, inpatient care episodes, visits to outpatient facilities and the number of unique patients were studied using case registers. The number of persons staying in group homes and nursery homes was also studied. The number of days of inpatient care for persons given a diagnosis of schizophrenia was drastically reduced, but this reduction was quantitatively substituted by the persons staying in different kind of group homes. The implementation of new psychiatric field teams directed towards persons with psychosis and new social service field teams targeting this same group were reflected in the registers. Data supported that the intended efforts of the mental health care reform were in fact carried out, but the prioritizing of the target group of the reform may have influenced the care of persons with other kinds of psychiatric problems negatively.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Deinstitutionalization
  • Health Care Reform / standards*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Length of Stay
  • Mental Health Services / trends*
  • Mentally Ill Persons*
  • Registries*
  • Sweden