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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;22(6):619-22. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283318ea5.

Quality and performance improvement for mental healthcare in Japan.

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  • 1Department of Social Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;23(2):186.



Until recently, assessing the quality of mental healthcare was a relatively new concept in Japan, although universal health coverage is provided. In this study, I describe the current developments in quality and performance improvement for mental healthcare in Japan.


There is very little published literature on systematic quality improvement activities for mental healthcare in Japan. The mechanisms for improving the quality in mental healthcare are underpinned by legislation, government policies, professional standards, peer reviews, and consumer involvement. Although a national monitoring system is available in mental healthcare, quality improvement efforts focus primarily on structural issues. In accordance with the policy shift from institutions to community, this part of the healthcare is still in a phase of building up community care, and most of the efforts are directed toward the quantity rather than quality of care. New movements geared toward performance improvement are emerging in the form of reducing polypharmacy of antipsychotic prescriptions and minimizing seclusion and restraint.


Assessing and improving quality and performance are gradually occurring in mental healthcare in Japan in response to the needs of society for high quality care.

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