How well are mentally ill people cared for in Germany?

11.10.2022 -  

Nationwide care research project launched together with Magdeburg University Medical Center: Long-term evaluation of modern models to improve care for mentally ill patients in Germany.

The Institute of Social Medicine and Health Systems Research (ISMG) at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg is playing a key role in a multi-year evaluation of model projects for the further development of psychiatric and psychosomatic care in Germany, which began in summer 2022. On behalf of an association of statutory health insurance funds, the effectiveness, costs and efficiency of model projects for the cross-sectoral care of children, adolescents and adults with mental illnesses will be examined up to a maximum of 2041.

The project is managed by the Center for Evidence-Based Health Care (ZEGV), and researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Dresden University Hospital and the Scientific Institute of Health Economics (WIG2) in Leipzig are also involved. The data basis for these studies is anonymized billing data, so-called secondary data, from up to 70 statutory health insurance funds. In the course of the project, data on several hundred thousand insured persons are expected; the number of individual data sets is in the three-digit million range. The task of the researchers at the ISMG in Magdeburg is to examine and process this enormous amount of data.

Institute Director Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Apfelbacher explains: "A long-standing research focus of the ISMG has been the scientific use of secondary data under the leadership of Professor Enno Swart. This expertise was instrumental in the formation of this research consortium. With this now established data access in the context of health services research and epidemiology, it has acquired a high reputation nationwide and is a pioneer in the development of specific scientific methods and standards."

Especially for people with mental illnesses, cross-sector and well-networked treatment by the individual service providers is of utmost importance for the success of treatment. Since 2013, the Social Code has offered the possibility of further developing inpatient psychiatric and psychosomatic care by means of model projects aimed at cross-sector, patient-centered care. In this context, financial billing incentives are intended to prevent the choice of the best possible patient-centered setting - not as is often observed in standard care.

The model hospitals are subjected to a scientific evaluation in comparison with standard care hospitals. Since 2015, 18 model projects have already been evaluated by the same project team in the so-called EVA64 study. In this new evaluation project EVA64.2, up to 19 existing model projects are now to be further evaluated and, in addition, the model projects established for the first time by mid-2026 are to be re-evaluated. Only when the healthcare innovations pass this scientific and objective evaluation will they be suitable for widespread implementation. Evaluation criteria include the frequency and duration of new inpatient admissions after initial treatment or, in the case of employed patients, the number and duration of incapacity to work after initial treatment.

Scientific Contact:

Prof. Dr. biol. hum. Enno Swart, Project Management, Institute of Social Medicine and Health Systems Research (ISMG), Faculty of Medicine, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Project Management, Tel. 0391-67-24306,

Last Modification: 12.10.2022 - Contact Person:

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