International comparisons of mental health outcomes
The burden of mental illness is substantial, with an estimated one in four of the OECD population affected at any time, and one in two across the life course. High quality and access to timely care has the potential to improve outcomes and may help reduce suicide and excess mortality for individuals with mental health disorders.
Internationally comparative data on the quality of mental health care is limited. This indicator draws on OECD data relating to inpatient suicide rates and suicide rates within 30 days of discharge. While these measures have the potential to be proxy measures for health care quality, their interpretation is not straightforward because suicide is a relatively rare event and is not an ideal measure of the quality of mental health care. In addition, the UK may be recording patient outcomes differently to other countries as a result of the NHS's tendency to put physical and mental health services on different sites.
Definitions and comparability for the indicators are taken directly from the OECD report Health at a Glance 2017: OECD indicators. Detailed information about the definitions and the source and methods for each country can be found here.
The inpatient suicide indicator is composed of a denominator of patients discharged with a principal diagnosis or first two secondary diagnosis code of mental health and behavioural disorders (ICD-10 codes F10-F69 and F90-99) and a numerator of these patients with a discharge code of "suicide" (ICD-10 codes X60-X84). Data should be interpreted with cuation due to a very small number of cases. Reported rates can vary over time, so where possible a 3-year average has been calculated to give more stability to the indicator.
Suicide within 30 days of discharge is established by linking discharge following hospitalisation with a principal diagnosis or first two listed secondary diagnosis code of mental health and behavioural disorders (ICD-10 codes F10-F69 and F90-99), with suicides recorded in death registries (ICD-10 codes X60-X84). In cases with several admissions during the reference year, the follow-up period starts from the last discharge.
The data have been age-sex standardised to the 2010 OECD population structure, to remove the effect of different population structures across countries.