University of Oulu

Myllykangas, M., & Parhi, K. (2023). The History of Psychiatric Epidemiology in Finland: From National Needs to International Arenas, 1900s–1990s. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 97(2), 321-350.

The history of psychiatric epidemiology in Finland : from national needs to international arenas, 1900s–1990s

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Author: Myllykangas, Mikko1; Parhi, Katariina2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2Tampere University, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-06


Psychiatric epidemiology has significantly influenced public health policies all around the world. This article discusses how Finnish epidemiologists reacted to local needs, which were born in specific circumstances and were controlled by science policy and funding opportunities. The development between the 1900s and 1990s is divided into three stages. The first Finnish studies in the field focused on the prevalence of mental illnesses in the country. The focus was to gain information for service planning, most of all to estimate the need for new hospitals and to set up the national social insurance system. After the Second World War, structural changes and social engineering fueled epidemiological interest. From the 1960s until the late 1980s, psychiatric epidemiology was interconnected with social psychiatry, which held a strong position in Finland. Since the 1990s, Finnish psychiatric epidemiology has been integrated with international epidemiology by using shared methodologies and through participation in transnational studies.

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Series: Bulletin of the history of medicine
ISSN: 0007-5140
ISSN-E: 1086-3176
ISSN-L: 0007-5140
Volume: 97
Issue: 2
Pages: 321 - 350
DOI: 10.1353/bhm.2023.a905733
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This research was supported by the Academy of Finland Profi6 336449; and by "Lives over Time: Birth Cohort Studies as a Form of Scientific Knowledge-Production, from the Second World War to the Present," funded by the Academy of Finland 318458.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318458
Detailed Information: 318458 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 Johns Hopkins University Press. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.