Necessity and feasibility of improving mental health services in China: A systematic qualitative review

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Abstract

It has been nearly 40 years since the reform and opening up of Mainland China. The mental health services system has developed rapidly as a part of the profound socioeconomic changes that ensued. However, its development has not been as substantial as other areas of medical care. For the current qualitative systematic review, we searched databases, including China Biology Medicine disc, Weipu, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang digital periodical full text data, China's important newspaper full text database, China Statistical Yearbook database, etc. The content of primary research, literature, and policy papers about the evolution and development of Chinese mental health services was systemically reviewed and analysed by using thematic analysis. Two main themes relative to the necessity and feasibility of reforming the current mental health services system emerged. We discuss 5 corresponding subthemes under the umbrella of the necessity of improving the current treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, and service systems and 7 requirements for the feasibility of reforming the current system. We conclude that as the development of the Chinese economy and the spirit of humanistic care continue, the improvement and reformation of the mental health services system are both necessary and feasible.

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