World Health Organization: Global Clinical Practice Network (GCPN)

Professional psychologists are invited to register and participate in internet-based field testing through GCPN. The results will be used to improve the clinical utility and global applicability of the ICD-11 chapter on Mental and Behavioural Disorders.

By Geoffrey M. Reed, PhD

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently undergoing the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), scheduled to be published in 2015. The ICD is the international standard for health information and enables the global assessment of monitoring and mortality, morbidity and other relevant health parameters. The ICD is also the basis for the official U.S. government classification of health conditions, required for all electronic health-related transactions such as billing and reimbursement.

The WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is taking an international and multidisciplinary approach to revising the ICD-11 chapter on Mental and Behavioural Disorders. As part of developing the classification of mental disorders, WHO is undertaking a systematic program of global field studies to improve the chapter’s clinical utility. These field studies will evaluate proposals for ICD-11 in terms of clinician acceptability, clinical utility (e.g., ease of use and goodness of fit), reliability and validity of the draft definitions and diagnostic guidelines. WHO is using both internet-based and clinic-based approaches to field testing.

Psychologists are invited to participate in the internet-based approach by registering for the Global Clinical Practice Network (GCPN), a global network of individual mental health and primary care practitioners. By joining this network, participants will review materials, offer feedback about ideas or concepts that WHO is developing, and be guided through a selection of questionnaires, case-vignettes and/or other materials accessible from their computers. This information will inform WHO’s decisions about the content and structure of the new classification system, as well as how that information is presented to different users.

Once registered, GCPN members will receive requests for participation no more than once a month. Participation will be designed to take approximately 20 minutes on each occasion; it is completely voluntary, and responses will be kept confidential, secure and will not be released to anyone else. Information will be analyzed in aggregate form and used exclusively for the purpose of ICD revision.

Any mental health or primary care professional who has completed his or her training and is qualified to practice in his or her country is eligible to participate in the GCPN. As a part of registration, you will be asked to provide contact information and specific information about your work settings, activities and interests to help determine eligibility for specific studies. Registration is currently available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, and additional languages will be added as capacity develops.

Interested colleagues can find out more about the Global Clinical Practice Network and register to participate.