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Journal Article


Quality Indicators for International Benchmarking of Mental Health Care

The Issue

Mental health and substance-related disorders are prevalent in every country, as are gaps between clinical practice and recommended care in this area. This Commonwealth Fund–supported study reports on the Organization for Economic and Community Development's Health Care Quality Indicators Project, the first effort to develop measures for international benchmarking on the quality of mental health care.

What the Study Found

Using a consensus development process, an international expert panel of mental health administrators, clinicians, and researchers selected measures of mental health care quality that are important, sound, feasible, and represent the breadth of care. From an initial set of 134 candidate measures, the panel nominated 12 measures. Most of the measures are applicable across diagnostic categories, while a few relate to depression and substance abuse—common, serious, and highly treatable conditions.


The authors believe that the resulting measure set, though small, will permit the benchmarking of mental health care quality across countries. Further work is needed to refine and test this starter set.

Publication Details



R. C. Hermann, S. Mattke, D. Somekh et al., "Quality Indicators for International Benchmarking of Mental Health Care," International Journal for Quality in Health Care, Sept. 2006 18(Suppl. 1):31–38.