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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2013;49(3):292-9.DOI: 10.4415/ANN_13_03_10.

University psychiatry in Italy. Organisation and integration of university clinics and the National Health Service.

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Università degli Studi di Torino, Scuola di Medicina, AOU San Luigi Gonzaga di Orbassano, Turin, Italy.



In the Italian psychiatric system, community-based care has become increasingly important and widespread since the national reform of 1978. This report aims to provide an overview of the involvement of university medical schools in this process, considering their responsibility for teaching and training specialist practitioners and professionals.


The study was carried out between early 2010 and February 2011. An 18-items, self-administered, questionnaire was designed to investigate the number of faculty members that are responsible both for running a clinical ward and for providing communitybased healthcare.


Nine out of 53 faculty members (17%) manage a Mental Health Department, 9 (17%) manage a University Department, and 2 (3.8%) manage both types of department. Less than half of the teachers have full responsibility (hospital and community); however the percentage reaches 73.2% if we include the hospital wards open to the community emergencies. The remaining 26.8% have no responsibility for community psychiatry. Moreover there were undoubtedly still too many universities with specialisation schools that are without an appropriate network of facilities enabling them to offer complex psychiatric training.


As expected, there were several types of healthcare management that were not uniformly distributed throughout Italy and there were also marked differences between mental health care provision in the North, Centre, and South of Italy. The university involvement in clinical responsibility was great, but at the management level there was a lack of equality in terms of clinical care, which risks being reflected also on the institutional functions of teaching and research.

DOI: 10.4415/ANN_13_03_10
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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