There is a long way to go: a nationwide survey of professional training for mental health practitioners in China

Gao, Xiao, Jackson, Todd, Chen, Hong, Lui, Yanmei, Wang, Ruiqiang, Qian, Mingyi, and Huang, Xiting (2010) There is a long way to go: a nationwide survey of professional training for mental health practitioners in China. Health Policy, 95 (1). pp. 74-81.

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Abstract

Objective: This nationwide survey of professional training for mental health practitioners (i.e., psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical psychologists, and the counselors working in industry, prisons, and schools) investigated sociodemographic characteristics, training experiences, and training perceptions of mental health service providers in China.

Methods: Participants included service providers recruited from hospitals, universities, high/middle schools, private mental health service organizations and counseling centers operated by government, prisons or corporations from 25 provinces and four cities directly under the Central Government in China. In order to obtain a broad and representative sample, stratified multi-stage sampling procedures were utilized. From a total of 2000 questionnaire packets distributed via regular mail, the final sample comprised of 1391 respondents (525 men, 866 women).

Results: About 70% of the sample had a bachelor's level education or lower degree, only 36.4% majored in psychology, and nearly 60% were employed part time. Fewer than half of participants were certified and nearly 40% reported no affiliation with any ‘professional’ association. Training and continuing education programs were reported to be primarily short term and theory-based with limited assessment and follow-up. A high proportion of respondents reported having received no supervision or opportunities for case conferences or consultations. With respect to perceptions of and satisfaction with training, many agreed that training had been very helpful to their work but quality of supervision and the capability of supervisors were common issues of concern.

Conclusions: In light of these findings, three general recommendations were made to improve the quality of training among mental health service providers in China. First, increased input from professional organizations of various disciplines involving mental health service provision is needed to guide training and shape policy. Second, universities and colleges should have a more vital role in developing accredited professional training programs. Finally, on-the-job supervision and continuing education should be mandated within discipline-specific training programs.

Item ID: 14845
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: mental health service; training; China
ISSN: 1872-6054
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 01:36
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 5
Downloads: Total: 1
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