Study of the factors that may explain the differences in population prevalence and in hospitalised patients due to mental disorders by territory

Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research
Record ID 32005000072
Catalan, English, Spanish
Authors' objectives:

To analyse how the prevalence of mental disorders are distributed in Catalonia and what are the factors that can influence in this distribution.

Authors' recommendations: The prevalence of persons hospitalised due to mental disorders in the period 1996-99 in Catalonia is around 8 cases per 1000 inhabitants, with a slightly higher rate for men than for women. This figure shows an important territorial variability, by the patient's health care sector. The highest hospitalisation levels for mental disorders are concentrated in the Central and Northern-Eastern area of Catalonia, with a similar pattern for both men and women. The territorial distribution by health care sector, both for the population prevalence and for the number of hospitalised persons due to mental disorders, shows an important scatter. The results do not show a correlation between geographical areas with high (or low) prevalence of mental disorders and high (or low) prevalence of hospitalised persons. The factors that may account for this variability among territories in the population prevalence and number of hospitalised persons due to mental disorders are aspects related to the health needs (mainly at individual level), the socio-economic conditions, and the offer of health care services. The results of this study show that there is not enough with individual features to explain the territorial variability of mental disorders (populational and in terms of hospitalised patients), but the area of residence of these subjects is also important. This fact has implications at the time of setting prevention policies, and in health care resource planning. The sociodemographic and economic data coming from the available information system are not very sensitive and specific to use them in territorial health analyses. And the offer of health care hospitalisation resources cannot either be attributed in a clear manner by territory. Research in the field of health sociology should be encouraged to improve the availability of indicators of social status, environment characteristics, available health care resources and other social determinants of the health problems at individual and territorial level.
Authors' methods: Overview
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2004
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Demography
  • Mental Disorders
  • Mental Health Services
  • Socioeconomic Factors
Organisation Name: Agencia de Qualitat i Avaluacio Sanitries de Catalunya
Contact Address: Antoni Parada, CAHTA, Roc Boronat, 81-95 (2nd floor), 08005 Barcelona, Spain, Tel. +34 935 513 928, Fax: +34 935 517 510
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Copyright: Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research (CAHTA)
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