Service priority and standard performance of community mental health centers in South Korea: a delphi approach.
Lee, MS; Hoe, M; Hwang, TY; Lee, YM
Psychiatry investigation, 6(2):59-65, 2009
OBJECTIVE: The role of community mental health centers (CMHCs) in Korea is quite different than that of these centers in Western countries due to nation-specific health care system characteristics. For example, CMHCs of Korea are expected to provide services for serious mental illness in addition to other services in response to community needs, such as internet addiction of adolescents. Consequently, it is important to determine service priorities of CMHCs and to define standard service performances in order to maximize their effectiveness with limited resources. The present study aimed to generate expert consensus on service priorities and to identify standard service performances of CMHCs in South Korea.
METHODS: Forty-five mental health professionals participated as experts in a Delphi survey. We made a survey questionnaire based on Korean and international data and guidelines of some countries such as the UK and Australia. Experts answered the first and second round questionnaires and their answers were analyzed using frequency analysis.
RESULTS: For the question about future directions of CMHCs, twenty-two experts (49%) answered that the growth of services for serious mental illness should be preferred to other areas. The service for chronic mental illness was thought to be the most important service area (27.1%) and, early psychosis (10.5%) is included, the services for serious mental illness should be regarded as the most important service area of Korean CMHCs. It is followed by child and adolescent services (13.2%) and mental health promotion services (10.8%). The relative importance of service performances on each service domain were given by answers of experts.
CONCLUSION: CMHCs in Korea should focus their priority on the management of serious mental illness. Service standardization by the relative importance of service performances on each service domain is needed.
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