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Stepped-Care Mental Health Services Model


  • New care model’s impact not measured across continuum of care.
  • Link individual-service and system data to map patient journeys
  • Ongoing project
The Challenge

An Australian review in 2015 identified limitations in the provision and coordination of mental health services. These included the fragmentation and duplication of services, consumer difficulties in navigating the system, inefficient targeting of resources, and lack of flexibility and capacity of services to respond to consumer needs. The response to these limitations was a Stepped Care model to provide mental health services in the primary health system across Australia.

The Approach

The Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network commissioned a two-year research project designed to assess the impact and delivery of elements of the Stepped Care approach. The project will try to understand the changes realised by the model in use of services and resources across primary, tertiary, and community mental health services. We will link individual-level information from the primary care mental health minimum data set with administrative datasets to map patient journeys through the care continuum.

The Results

The project is ongoing, and no results are available yet. The project anticipates that the findings will assist in informing outcomes such as :

  • Impact of the service delivery pre- and post-Stepped Care model
  • Client satisfaction with the care provided under the Stepped Care model
  • Impact of the model on the broader health system (hospital and community)
  • Within and between group changes in seeking healthcare after use of the Stepped Care model