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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


GOMEZ BENEYTO, Manuel et al. ESAMEN: Description and assessment of the structure of community-oriented mental health services. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.136, pp.59-88.  Epub Sep 21, 2020. ISSN 2340-2733.

The basic structure of community-oriented mental health services consists of four types of facilities: mental health units in general hospitals, day hospitals, mental health centres, and psychosocial rehabilitation centres, complemented by social support provided by specialized social services. Due to the fact that these facilities can host very diverse health activities that may involve several sectors of the Administration and the Third Sector, simultaneously or successively, and also due to their irregular geographical implementation, the management of mental health services is a complex issue on which no agreement has yet been reached. At present, we have several instruments for measuring and classifying services to facilitate their management, but none of them has become popular.

The aim of this work is to report on ESAMEN, a tool to classify and measure the structure of community mental health services, and to subject it to a feasibility study. This instrument is not based on the classification of facilities as has been done so far, but on the classification of the 32 activities or modules of care that are practiced in them.

For this feasibility study, a survey was sent to the coordinators of 380 mental health facilities from Andalusia, Euskadi and Madrid, requesting information on the area of coverage and the number of professionals in each of the modules dispensed in their facility. With these data, indicators of capacity (expressed as the maximum time of professional dedication per inhabitant and unit of time) and scope (proportion of the total number of inhabitants who are potentially beneficiaries of the module) were elaborated.

Results tables show with clarity and simplicity the structure of the services, evaluating each module according to its capacity and population scope, showing imbalances in its distribution, allowing comparisons between areas and Communities, and leaving the door open to the refinement of the indicators and the inclusion of new activity modules that may be developed in the future.

Keywords : Community mental health; Mental health policy; Mental health service evaluation.

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