Quality indicators for international benchmarking of mental health care

Int J Qual Health Care. 2006 Sep;18 Suppl 1:31-8. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzl025.


Objective: To identify quality measures for international benchmarking of mental health care that assess important processes and outcomes of care, are scientifically sound, and are feasible to construct from preexisting data.

Design: An international expert panel employed a consensus development process to select important, sound, and feasible measures based on a framework that balances these priorities with the additional goal of assessing the breadth of mental health care across key dimensions.

Participants: Six countries and one international organization nominated seven panelists consisting of mental health administrators, clinicians, and services researchers with expertise in quality of care, epidemiology, public health, and public policy. Measures. Measures with a final median score of at least 7.0 for both importance and soundness, and data availability rated as 'possible' or better in at least half of participating countries, were included in the final set. Measures with median scores </=3.0 or data availability rated as 'unlikely' were excluded. Measures with intermediate scores were subject to further discussion by the panel, leading to their adoption or rejection on a case-by-case basis.

Results: From an initial set of 134 candidate measures, the panel identified 12 measures that achieved moderate to high scores on desired attributes.

Conclusions: Although limited, the proposed measure set provides a starting point for international benchmarking of mental health care. It addresses known quality problems and achieves some breadth across diverse dimensions of mental health care.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking*
  • Consensus
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Developed Countries
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • International Cooperation
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care* / classification