Mental health treatment and support services have an important role in the recovery of people with mental health issues. This section presents information about the mental health-related problems experienced by consumers of public sector specialised mental health services and whether there is improvement after receiving mental health care, as measured by a set of clinically-derived indicators.
Data are available for public sector specialised mental health services. A range of other mental health services are not included here – for example, clinical measures may be collected to aid consumers’ recovery in private hospitals, private clinicians’ practices, non-government organisations, primary health care networks, and other services. This is due to the fact that outcomes data from those services are not currently routinely collected under national agreements and thus are not available for reporting.
Clinical measures are particular surveys or forms that are used to gather information about a person's clinical mental health status and functioning. These measures can be completed by clinicians about the consumer (known as clinician-rated), completed by the consumer (consumer-rated), and completed by families and carers about the consumer (carer-rated). When the same clinical measures are completed more than once, they can be used to determine whether a person shows improvement, no change, or deterioration from mental health care.
Data reported in this section are gathered under the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection (NOCC), which was specified in 2003 to guide states and territories in the implementation of routine consumer outcomes measurement in public mental health services. All consumers who receive clinical care in public sector specialised mental health services should be included in the NOCC, including psychiatric inpatient, residential and ambulatory (non-admitted) service settings. More information about the NOCC is in the data source section.
This section provides an overview of the NOCC and key national findings. More detailed data are available via the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection Web Decision Support Tool and Reports Portal.
What are outcomes and casemix?
The NOCC collects information about a person's clinical mental health status and functioning during their episode of mental health care. Measures completed by clinicians about the consumer (known as clinician-rated) and measures completed by the consumer (consumer-rated) are used. These measures are completed at multiple collection occasions during an episode of care to monitor changes in consumers' clinical status and functioning.
Ratings information is used to report on consumers’ outcomes of care – that is, whether consumers of mental health services show improvement, no change, or deterioration from receiving mental health care. Clinical outcomes such as these are just one aspect of a consumer’s treatment and recovery.
Change in mental health consumers’ clinical outcomes is included in the Key Performance Indicators for Australian Public Mental Health Services. These indicators contribute to measuring the performance and progress of mental health services in Australia. The indicators are also reported on Mental health services in Australia. Refer to the data source section for more information.
In addition to outcomes, data items in the NOCC gather information about other factors that together are known as casemix. In this section, the reported casemix items are the consumer’s mental health legal status and diagnosis.
The collection of measures for the NOCC is guided by a set of rules on what measures to collect and when to collect them. More information is in the data source section and more detailed information is in the technical specifications.
In this section, measures of statistical uncertainty pertaining to estimates (95% confidence intervals) are shown in all data tables and represented in data visualisations by black bars. If the intervals for comparison groups do not overlap – that is, they do not include the same values in the range – the difference between groups can be generally inferred to be statistically significant.