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Trends in service use and treatment for mental disorders in adults throughout Great Britain

  • Traolach S. Brugha (a1), Paul E. Bebbington (a2), Nicola Singleton (a3), David Melzer (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6), Michael Farrell (a7), Dinesh Bhugra (a7), Alison Lee (a8) and Howard Meltzer (a8)...
Abstract
Background

Trends in health treatments and outcomes in the general population may be used to monitor achievement of health targets.

Aims

To investigate changes in mental health services and treatment in Britain over a 7-year period.

Method

National surveys of psychiatric morbidity were completed in 1993 and 2000 in households throughout Great Britain. Standardised interviews were used to establish psychiatric case status and service and treatment utilisation in adults aged 16–64 years.

Results

Use of psychotropic medication doubled in those designated as psychiatric cases. In the non-case-status population antidepressant use rose from 0.16% in 1993 (95% Cl 0.07–0.25) to 2.02% in 2000 (95% Cl 1.69–2.35). However, the overall prevalence of neurotic and psychotic disorder hardly changed from 1993 to 2000. Use of specialised ‘talking treatments' did not increase significantly, except in the non-case group.

Conclusions

Treatment with psychotropic medication alone is unlikely to improve the overall mental health of the nation. A policy based almost exclusively on treatment of identified cases should be augmented by preventive approaches.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr T. S. Brugha, Brandon Mental Health Unit, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK. Tel: 0225 6295; fax: 0225 6235; e-mail: tsb@le.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgement.

Footnotes
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Trends in service use and treatment for mental disorders in adults throughout Great Britain

  • Traolach S. Brugha (a1), Paul E. Bebbington (a2), Nicola Singleton (a3), David Melzer (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6), Michael Farrell (a7), Dinesh Bhugra (a7), Alison Lee (a8) and Howard Meltzer (a8)...
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