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Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc. 2007 Jan-Mar;16(1):10-5.

Socio-economic status and geographies of psychiatric inpatient service use. Places, provision, power and well-being.


This editorial briefly summarises some aspects of research on socio-economic status and use of mental health services that have particular relevance for the theme of this issue of Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale. This discussion takes a view from the perspective of health geography, which examines how the relationships between individuals and their social and physical environment result in variations in health and health care use. Three particular issues are considered here. First, the geographical distribution and organisation of psychiatric services may interact with social and economic factors in ways that are important for service use. Second, increasingly sophisticated ecological modelling strategies have elucidated the associations between socio-economic factors and service use at the population level. Third, more intensive, qualitative research complements these statistical analyses and encouraged reflection on the socio-economic processes, within psychiatric care settings, as well as in wider society, which influence service use.

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