A Systematic Literature Review of the Impact of Climate Change on the Global Demand for Psychiatric Services

Corvetto, Julia Feriato; Helou, Ammir Yacoub; Dambach, Peter; Müller, Thomas; Sauerborn, Rainer (2023). A Systematic Literature Review of the Impact of Climate Change on the Global Demand for Psychiatric Services. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(2), p. 1190. MDPI 10.3390/ijerph20021190

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Climate Change (CC) imposes important global health risks, including on mental health (MH). They are related mostly to psychological suffering caused by climate-related events and to the heat-vulnerability caused by psychiatric disorders. This growing burden may press MH services worldwide, increasing demand on public and private systems in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. According to PRISMA, two independent reviewers searched four databases for papers published before May 2022 that associated climate-related events with healthcare demand for psychiatric conditions. Of the 7432 papers retrieved, we included 105. Only 29 were carried out in low- and middle-income countries. Twelve related the admission numbers to (i) extreme events, while 93 to (ii) meteorological factors—mostly heat. Emergency visits and hospitalizations were significantly higher during hot periods for MH disorders, especially until lag 5–7. Extreme events also caused more consultations. Suicide (completed or attempted), substance misuse, schizophrenia, mood, organic and neurotic disorders, and mortality were strongly affected by CC. This high healthcare demand is evidence of the burden patients may undergo. In addition, public and private services may face a shortage of financial and human resources. Finally, the increased use of healthcare facilities, in turn, intensifies greenhouse gas emissions, representing a self-enforcing cycle for CC. Further research is needed to better clarify how extreme events affect MH services and, in addition, if services in low- and middle-income countries are more intensely demanded by CC, as compared to richer countries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center

UniBE Contributor:

Müller, Thomas (A)


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Thomas Müller

Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2023 10:21

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:38

Publisher DOI:






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