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Examines the quality of mental health care and the psychosocial aspects of medical care. This involves several tasks: defining quality of care, choosing an appropriate focus of quality of care studies, identifying applicable and feasible methods, and guaranteeing the reliability and validity of the data used in the assessment. Observations relevant to mental health professionals were: (1) Dogmatic statement about methods to assess quality of mental health care should be avoided at this time, because quality of care studies will require more effort than medical evaluations for developing criteria and for collecting reliable and valid data. (2) Setting valid process or outcome criteria is difficult and must be done carefully, with the input of many organizations and professional groups. (3) Mental health professionals should consider two related areas of study: the psychosocial elements of care for persons with nonmental conditions and the care for patients with primary mental disorders.

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