A postdoctoral program to enhance planning and quality improvement initiatives in mental health through the validation of administrative mental disorder diagnoses

While a number of significant improvements in treatment of mental disorders have been made in recent years, gaps remain. For example, major depression is identified in only 50 per cent of people with the disorder when they visit their family doctor, and only half of those people receive appropriate treatment. Initiatives to address these gaps include programs that provide public and physician education and increase connections between care providers. However, it’s unclear how successful these initiatives will be due to a lack of data on the prevalence of mental disorders and whether people improve as a result of these programs. Dr. Paul Waraich is evaluating whether data routinely collected from hospital and physician visits, as well as medication prescriptions, are of sufficient quality to be used to evaluate changes in the care of major depression and other mental disorders. The research could greatly improve understanding of whether new mental health care programs are effective.