Groundbreaking mental health survey
The Polish Consortium is collaborating with the Psychiatric Institute Vinderen in Norway to carry out a first-ever nationwide survey detailing mental health prevalence in Poland.
The last decades have seen a sudden increase in patients admitted to hospital with mental health problems in Poland. In less than twenty years, the number of patients suffering from mental health illnesses has increased almost two-fold. Close to 300,000 mental health patients are now hospitalised on an annual basis.
"We do not know if this growth reflects real prevalence of mental disorders or a rapid increase in demand due to better services and improved access," said Jacek Moskalewicz at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology. Despite the soaring growth in mental health admissions, however, a comprehensive study on mental health in Poland has never been carried out. "Until now, mental health policy has been based on incomplete information, overlooking hidden populations of people suffering mental health problems," continued Moskalewicz.
With project support secured from the EEA Grants, a nationwide, internationally comparable study of mental health will now be developed for the first time in Polish history. Trough mapping the regional occurrence of mental health problems in patients, the study will provide policy makers with the required data to make informed decisions on future health policy and services.
The survey will build on a randomly selected sample group of 10,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 65, using CIDI, a research instrument developed by the World Health Organisation. The project partner, Psychiatric Institute Vinderen, have already completed a CIDI study, and will contribute with experience and advice throughout the project. In addition to prevalence statistics, the survey will collect data on opinions regarding access to mental health services and social attitudes towards treatment. When completed, the survey will provide a comprehensive picture of mental health in Poland, while simultaneously identifying administrative and attitudinal barriers to treatment.
According to Moskalewicz, the study will be crucial to the National Mental Health Programme which was adopted in Poland in 2008. "The survey will have a substantial impact on mental health policy in Poland, securing more cost-efficient allocation of resources," he concluded.
The Consortium implementing the project is composed of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Department of Psychiatry of Medical Academy in Wrocław and National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw.
Epidemiology of Mental Disorders and Access to Care – EZOP Poland
Type & project assistance:
Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Type of institution:
Grant agreement date:
07 August 2008
The purpose of the Project is to improve knowledge of the prevalence of selected mental disorders, with the overall objective of improving access to mental health services in Poland. Reference is made to the application dated 8 November 2007 and any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.
The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:
- install and implement scientific and administrative management and promotion systems,
- pilot survey (interviews and analysis of pilot survey results), and development of the final version of the survey instrument (data bases),
- training of interviewers in the use of the survey instruments,
- survey (interviews), including statistical analysis and drafting publication.
- publicity, and
- dissemination of results (scientific articles, monographed book and articles in popular press).
The Project Promoter is the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw.
The Focal Point shall ensure that the Polish Ministry of Health provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project costs.
Subject to national law the Project shall be implemented in partnership with Psykiatrisk Institute Vinderen - Oslo University, Norway; the Department and Clinic of Psychiatry, Medical Academy Wroclaw, Poland; and the National Institute of Hygiene , Warsaw.