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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163

Abstract

LOPEZ-LARA, Enrique; GARRIDO-CUMBRERA, Marco  and  DIAZ-CUEVAS, M. Pilar. Improving territorial accessibility of mental health services: The case of Spain. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.4, pp.227-235. ISSN 0213-6163.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632012000400002.

Background and Objectives: Citizens choose their health care services not only depending on their needs, but also on where they are located. The location of the services is especially important in the case of mental health due to the specific features of mental disorders. This article provides an analysis of temporal access by road to outpatient mental health centres in Andalusia (Spain) with a view to improving accessibility for the greatest volume of population possible. Methods: Firstly, accessibility by road to the outpatient mental health centres was calculated in terms of time by establishing journey times using the ArcGIS Geographical Information System´s (GIS) Network Analyst module. These journey times by road enabled travel times to be established for these sections, temporal accessibility areas to be plotted from each of the outpatient mental health centres and the number of people included in each accessibility area to be calculated. Results: The accessibility analysis enabled the sitting of the centres to be evaluated for 2006, a comparison to be made with 2011 (with six new facilities having been set up since 2006) and new locations for the siting of these six new facilities to be proposed. Conclusions: This study has enabled the optimum territorial locations to be proposed for the six mental health centres created between 2006 and 2011 that would allow travel times to be reduced for the greatest numbers of people possible. It can be stated on the basis of this study that, if territorial criteria had been taken into account, 97,720 inhabitants would have seen their travel times to their nearest mental health centres reduced using the same resources.

Keywords : Mental Health care; Outpatient services; Temporal accessibility; Territorial criteria; GIS; Andalusia (Spain).

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