• Factors associated with quality of services for marginalized groups with mental health problems in 14 European countries

      Costa, Diogo; Matanov, Aleksandra; Canavan, Reamonn; Gabor, Edina; Greacen, Tim; Vondráčková, Petra; Kluge, Ulrike; Nicaise, Pablo; Moskalewicz, Jacek; Díaz–Olalla, José M; et al. (2014-02-03)
      Abstract Background Different service characteristics are known to influence mental health care delivery. Much less is known about the impact of contextual factors, such as the socioeconomic circumstances, on the provision of care to socially marginalized groups.The objectives of this work were to assess the organisational characteristics of services providing mental health care for marginalized groups in 14 European capital cities and to explore the associations between organisational quality, service features and country-level characteristics. Methods 617 services were assessed in two highly deprived areas in 14 European capital cities. A Quality Index of Service Organisation (QISO) was developed and applied across all sites. Service characteristics and country level socioeconomic indicators were tested and related with the Index using linear regressions and random intercept linear models. Results The mean (standard deviation) of the QISO score (minimum = 0; maximum = 15) varied from 8.63 (2.23) in Ireland to 12.40 (2.07) in Hungary. The number of different programmes provided was the only service characteristic significantly correlated with the QISO (p < 0.05). The national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was inversely associated with the QISO. Nearly 15% of the variance of the QISO was attributed to country-level variables, with GDP explaining 12% of this variance. Conclusions Socioeconomic contextual factors, in particular the national GDP are likely to influence the organisational quality of services providing mental health care for marginalized groups. Such factors should be considered in international comparative studies. Their significance for different types of services should be explored in further research.
    • Good practice in mental health care for socially marginalised groups in Europe: a qualitative study of expert views in 14 countries

      Priebe, Stefan; Matanov, Aleksandra; Schor, Ruth; Straßmayr, Christa; Barros, Henrique; Barry, Margaret M; Díaz-Olalla, José M; Gabor, Edina; Greacen, Tim; Holcnerová, Petra; et al. (2012-03-28)
      Abstract Background Socially marginalised groups tend to have higher rates of mental disorders than the general population and can be difficult to engage in health care. Providing mental health care for these groups represents a particular challenge, and evidence on good practice is required. This study explored the experiences and views of experts in 14 European countries regarding mental health care for six socially marginalised groups: long-term unemployed; street sex workers; homeless; refugees/asylum seekers; irregular migrants and members of the travelling communities. Methods Two highly deprived areas were selected in the capital cities of 14 countries, and experts were interviewed for each of the six marginalised groups. Semi-structured interviews with case vignettes were conducted to explore experiences of good practice and analysed using thematic analysis. Results In a total of 154 interviews, four components of good practice were identified across all six groups: a) establishing outreach programmes to identify and engage with individuals with mental disorders; b) facilitating access to services that provide different aspects of health care, including mental health care, and thus reducing the need for further referrals; c) strengthening the collaboration and co-ordination between different services; and d) disseminating information on services both to marginalised groups and to practitioners in the area. Conclusions Experts across Europe hold similar views on what constitutes good practice in mental health care for marginalised groups. Care may be improved through better service organisation, coordination and information.
    • Mental health care for irregular migrants in Europe: Barriers and how they are overcome

      Straßmayr, Christa; Matanov, Aleksandra; Priebe, Stefan; Barros, Henrique; Canavan, Reamonn; Díaz-Olalla, José M; Gabor, Edina; Gaddini, Andrea; Greacen, Tim; Holcnerová, Petra; et al. (2012-05-20)
      Abstract Background Irregular migrants (IMs) are exposed to a wide range of risk factors for developing mental health problems. However, little is known about whether and how they receive mental health care across European countries. The aims of this study were (1) to identify barriers to mental health care for IMs, and (2) to explore ways by which these barriers are overcome in practice. Methods Data from semi-structured interviews with 25 experts in the field of mental health care for IMs in the capital cities of 14 European countries were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Experts reported a range of barriers to mental health care for IMs. These include the absence of legal entitlements to health care in some countries or a lack of awareness of such entitlements, administrative obstacles, a shortage of culturally sensitive care, the complexity of the social needs of IMs, and their fear of being reported and deported. These barriers can be partly overcome by networks of committed professionals and supportive services. NGOs have become important initial points of contact for IMs, providing mental health care themselves or referring IMs to other suitable services. However, these services are often confronted with the ethical dilemma of either acting according to the legislation and institutional rules or providing care for humanitarian reasons, which involves the risk of acting illegally and providing care without authorisation. Conclusions Even in countries where access to health care is legally possible for IMs, various other barriers remain. Some of these are common to all migrants, whilst others are specific for IMs. Attempts at improving mental health care for IMs should consider barriers beyond legal entitlement, including communicating information about entitlement to mental health care professionals and patients, providing culturally sensitive care and ensuring sufficient resources.
    • Service provision and barriers to care for homeless people with mental health problems across 14 European capital cities

      Canavan, Réamonn; Barry, Margaret M; Matanov, Aleksandra; Barros, Henrique; Gabor, Edina; Greacen, Tim; Holcnerová, Petra; Kluge, Ulrike; Nicaise, Pablo; Moskalewicz, Jacek; et al. (2012-07-27)
      AbstractBackgroundMental health problems are disproportionately higher amongst homeless people. Many barriers exist for homeless people with mental health problems in accessing treatment yet little research has been done on service provision and quality of care for this group. The aim of this paper is to assess current service provision and identify barriers to care for homeless people with mental health problems in 14 European capital cities.MethodTwo methods of data collection were employed; (i) In two highly deprived areas in each of the 14 European capital cities, homeless-specific services providing mental health, social care or general health services were assessed. Data were obtained on service characteristics, staff and programmes provided. (ii) Semi-structured interviews were conducted in each area with experts in mental health care provision for homeless people in order to determine the barriers to care and ways to overcome them.ResultsAcross the 14 capital cities, 111 homeless-specific services were assessed. Input from professionally qualified mental health staff was reported as low, as were levels of active outreach and case finding. Out-of-hours service provision appears inadequate and high levels of service exclusion criteria were evident. Prejudice in the services towards homeless people, a lack of co-ordination amongst services, and the difficulties homeless people face in obtaining health insurance were identified as major barriers to service provision.ConclusionsWhile there is variability in service provision across European capital cities, the reported barriers to service accessibility are common. Homeless-specific services are more responsive to the initial needs of homeless people with mental health problems, while generic services tend to be more conducive to long term care. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of different service delivery models, including the most effective coordination of homeless specific and generic services.