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Mental Health data collection
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PRIMHD and the People
Recovery Journeys Revealed through Everyday Data

Terry Smith, Michelle (Shelly) Reet
Service Development and Integration Unit
Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs
Wellington Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand ;


Among those that live with a serious mental illness, each journey towards recovery is as unique as the person experiencing it. Along the way an individual’s path intersects with health services at various junctions and crossroads, all of which will have a certain type of impact on the outcome.

In New Zealand, on each occasion a person comes into contact with a mental health or addiction service, a record of the transaction is stored in the Mental Health National data collection (PRIMHD). We used the activity data collected for PRIMHD over a period of five years to visualise and aggregate patterns of acute service utilisation for a group of individuals living with a psychotic disorder. The results formed part of the evaluation of a workforce development project that aimed at reducing incidence of relapse in psychosis.

The method of analysis offers a longitudinal perspective on outcomes and provides a context within which other clinical or self-rated measures may be viewed. When aggregated across populations, the data provides an indicator of how well current services are performing in terms of outcomes. The method has potential to be used as a guide for the co-design, monitoring and evaluation of future services.

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