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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;22(6):636-42. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283317c00.

Mental health quality, outcome measurement, and improvement in Germany.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.



The German mental healthcare system is currently undergoing discussions regarding the assessment of mental healthcare quality and the identification of potentials for optimizing mental healthcare. Quality assurance projects play an important role in the optimization of the care for the mentally ill in Germany. This review describes the most recent results of quality assurance programs from Germany as identified by a systematic literature search covering the time span 1 January 2008 until 1 June 2009.


The German mental healthcare system is characterized by a high degree of structural quality. Quality assurance research in German mental healthcare is multifaceted and several projects are underway to determine the cost-effectiveness of procedures in mental healthcare and the development of quality indicators.


In Germany, mental healthcare research is a rapidly developing field. Potentials for improvements can be identified in the assessment of process and outcome quality, the regional distribution, and the coordination among service providers. More studies are needed to identify the best methods to assess quality in mental healthcare with a view to improve process and outcome quality.

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