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Journal Article


Thom J, Bretschneider J, Kraus N, Handerer J, Jacobi F. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2019; 62(2): 128-139.

Vernacular Title

Versorgungsepidemiologie psychischer Störungen : Warum sinken die Prävalenzen trotz vermehrter Versorgungsangebote nicht ab?


Professur für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Schwerpunkt Verhaltenstherapie), Psychologische Hochschule Berlin (PHB), Berlin, Deutschland.


(Copyright © 2019, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






In Germany, the significant increase of healthcare provision and service use in recent decades has not resulted in a decreasing prevalence of mental disorders.Three explanations for this phenomenon are considered: 1) prevention and the healthcare system are insufficient and ineffective, 2) the success of the healthcare service is masked by growing morbidity due to increasing societal risks, and 3) a fundamental shift towards a psychological culture accounts for an increasing perception and treatment of mental disorders and their symptoms at the same time. In order to review these three theoretical approaches, results from population-based health surveys and healthcare research in Germany as well as the international debate are presented and discussed.The present results provide evidence for each of the three explanations: 1) problems with implementation of preventive actions and access to healthcare services are well documented, 2) influences of the multifaceted development of risk factors on the prevalence and disease burden of mental disorders cannot be ruled out, and 3) a growing mental health literacy implies that problems (in everyday life) are currently more often interpreted and treated psychologically.For the purpose of evaluating changes in the healthcare system, not only should the prevalence of mental disorders be considered, but also incidence (and their potential reduction by preventive measures) as well as indicators of need for treatment (i. e. functional impairment) and mortality (i. e. suicides and reduced life expectancy).

Language: de


Healthcare and prevention of mental disorders; Mental health literacy; Need for treatment; Prevalence of mental disorders; Societal risk factors


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