Child and adolescent psychiatry training and mental health care in Southeast Europe

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;29(1):29-39. doi: 10.1007/s00787-019-01362-0. Epub 2019 Jun 21.


There is very limited information available on child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) training in the Southeast European (SEE) region. The objective of this study was to fill in this gap by presenting descriptive data on CAP training and national mental health services for children and adolescent in 11 SEE countries. On the initiative of World Psychiatric Association-CAP section, national CAP association boards from each SEE country allocated one member to the Consortium on Academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in SEE (CACAP SEE) in 2018. Using an internally distributed questionnaire, CACAP SEE members provided information on the CAP training structure and mental health care. Ten out of eleven SEE countries recognized CAP as a separate specialty. Duration of training did not differ much between the SEE countries. Other components were more variable (availability of rotations, overseas electives, and inclusion of psychotherapy). Ten countries were familiar with the CAP requirements of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS-CAP) and five provided the training in accordance with it. Nine countries had less than 36 board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists practicing in the country. The number of general psychiatrists treating children and adolescents with mental disorders was higher than the number of CAP specialists in five of the countries. Although CAP was recognized as a separate specialty in the vast majority of SEE countries, there was a substantial variation among them in available CAP training. In most of the countries, there is a considerable lack of CAP specialists for several reasons, including loss of trained specialists to other countries.

Keywords: Adolescent; Child; European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS); Psychiatry; Training.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Psychiatry / education*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry / education*
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / education*
  • Young Adult