The economic crisis has placed Portugal in a situation of budgetary constraints with repercussions on mental health, since 2009. This study analyses the association between economic crisis and the inpatient profile of major depression in the working-age population in Portuguese National Health System hospitals. This was an observational, descriptive and cross-sectional study. An individual analysis of hospitalisation and an ecological analysis at district level, were performed before 2008 and during the crisis (2013). Data on the hospitalisation episodes, working-age population and psychiatric inpatient beds were analysed. An increase in hospitalisation rates for major depression were observed, and across country, high spatial variations were perceived: districts with lower rates of urbanisation and population density had higher hospitalisation rates for major depression. Hospitalisation rates were positively influenced by the available inpatient beds. The results for 2013 were more critical (higher hospitalisation rates, less beds). Further research is needed to understand all patterns, considering other individual and contextual information.
- Economic crisis
- Health services