[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mental 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.
Two 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.
Across 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.
While 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.
BMC Health Services Research 07/2012; 12:222. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: While there has been systematic research on the experiences of immigrant patients in mental health services within certain European countries, little research has explored the experiences of mental health professionals in the delivery of services to immigrants across Europe. This study sought to explore professionals' experiences of delivering care to immigrants in districts densely populated with immigrants across Europe. METHODS: Forty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with mental health care professionals working in 16 European countries. Professionals in each country were recruited from three areas with the highest proportion of immigrants. For the purpose of this study, immigrants were defined as first-generation immigrants born outside the country of current residence, including regular immigrants, irregular immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees and victims of human trafficking. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The interviews highlighted specific challenges to treating immigrants in mental health services across all 16 countries including complications with diagnosis, difficulty in developing trust and increased risk of marginalisation. CONCLUSIONS: Although mental health service delivery varies between and within European countries, consistent challenges exist in the experiences of mental health professionals delivering services in communities with high proportions of immigrants. Improvements to practice should include training in reaching appropriate diagnoses, a focus on building trusting relationships and measures to counter marginalisation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
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.
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.
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.
BMC Public Health 03/2012; 12:248. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Providing mental health care to socially marginalized groups is a challenge. There is limited evidence on what form of mental health-care generic (i.e. not targeting a specific social group) and group-specific services provide to socially marginalized groups in Europe. AIM: To describe the characteristics of services providing mental health care for people with mental disorders from socially marginalized groups in European capitals. METHODS: In two highly deprived areas in different European capital cities, services providing some form of mental health care for six marginalized groups, i.e. homeless, street sex workers, asylum seekers/refugees, irregular migrants, travelling communities and long-term unemployed, were identified and contacted. Data were obtained on service characteristics, staff and programmes. RESULTS: In 8 capital cities, 516 out of 575 identified services were assessed (90%); 297 services were generic (18-79 per city) and 219 group-specific (13-50). All cities had group-specific services for the homeless, street sex workers and asylum seekers/refugees. Generic services provided more health-care programmes. Group-specific services provided more outreach programmes and social care. There was a substantial overlap in the programmes provided by the two types of services. CONCLUSIONS: In deprived areas of European capitals, a considerable number of services provide mental health care to socially marginalized groups. Access to these services often remains difficult. Group-specific services have been widely established, but their role overlaps with that of generic services. More research and conceptual clarity on the function of group-specific services are required.
The European Journal of Public Health 02/2012; · 2.52 Impact Factor