Fourth national mental health plan: measurement strategy

3.1 Indicators and targets

Page last updated: May 2011

Section 3.2 provides a high-level overview of the status of each Fourth Plan indicator and target. The indicators have been numbered for ease of reference. In summary:

  • Two social inclusion and recovery indicators are partitioned for separate reporting at the general population level and for state and territory consumers. Subsequently, the total number of indicators to be reported increases from 25 to 27.
  • Of the 27 indicators:
    • 14 are identified as having suitable data sources and capable of being reported in full over the course of the Fourth Plan;
    • Two (indicators 6 and 20) are identified as having suitable data sources for part of the indicator and have been split into components that:
      • can be reported now; and
      • cannot yet be reported; and
    • For all remaining indicators, except one (indicator 10), work has been identified to develop suitable data sources, and/or work is in progress to develop such sources.
  • Targets are proposed for seven of the 27 indicators. For the majority of the remaining indicators, further work is ongoing to specify meaningful targets, or indicator specifications are to be finalised once data sources have been developed. For a small number of indicators (four), meaningful targets are not seen as possible within the life of the Fourth Plan.
Section 3.3 provides statements of the rationale underpinning each indicator and a description of the indicator in terms of data source(s), baseline year and frequency of reporting as well as the proposed data and indicator development activities. Top of page

The Fourth Plan acknowledges that a number of indicators do not have existing data sources. This section describes the issues and the approaches to progress development of suitable data sources for these indicators.

For the 16 indicators with specifications, targets have either been agreed to or it has been identified that a target is not appropriate. There are a small number of indicators where a target has been agreed, however, refinement or development is still in progress. This section also provides the rationale underpinning agreed targets and the level of evidence and output type for each.

Indicators and targets will be reviewed and refined as data sources and understanding of performance improves. As technologies advance so too will the opportunities for collection and linkage of data.

There are a number of known interpretation, quality and scope issues with data from the national mental health administrative data and outcomes sets, and steps to resolve these are being progressed through collaborative processes led by the Mental Health Information Strategy Subcommittee (MHISS).

Issues of data quality and appropriateness are contained in the appendices, and will be further expanded and updated in subsequent editions of the Measurement Strategy.

The progress in data, indicator and target development and changes from this baseline edition will be detailed in subsequent editions of the Measurement Strategy.