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Evaluating mental healthcare systems by studying pathways to care 

Evaluating mental healthcare systems by studying pathways to care
Evaluating mental healthcare systems by studying pathways to care

Adriana Mihai

, Vesna Jordanova

, Umberto Volpe

, and Norman Sartorius

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date: 29 June 2022

Pathways to care studies describe the way people seek care for mental disorders and give an insight on how mental health systems work. These studies provide data that can be used to generate health policy and to improve the quality of services, proposing interventions that contribute to the better use of resources and that provide more effective care. The Pathway Encounter Form is a standardized method for describing pathways to care. Data collection is simple and can be done as a part of routine assessment, without additional resources. Studies of pathways make it possible to compare care in different regions or in the same region at different times. The results of pathway studies should be interpreted in relation to their cultural, social, and economic context. They may serve people working within mental health facilities, administrators, and policy makers in their efforts to improve the provision of mental healthcare.

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