The rise of assertive community interventions in South Africa: A randomized control trial assessing the impact of a modified assertive intervention on readmission rates; a three year follow-up

BMC Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.21). 02/2014; 14(1):56. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-14-56
Source: PubMed


Many countries have over the last few years incorporated mental health assertive interventions in an attempt to address the repercussions of deinstitutionalization. Recent publications have failed to duplicate the positive outcomes reported initially which has cast doubt on the future of these interventions. We previously reported on 29 patients from a developing country who completed 12 months in an assertive intervention which was a modified version of the international assertive community treatment model. We demonstrated reduction in readmission rates as well as improvements in social functioning compared to patients from the control group. The obvious question was, however, if these outcomes could be sustained for longer periods of time. This study aims to determine if modified assertive interventions in an under-resourced setting can successfully maintain reductions in hospitalizations.

Patients suffering from schizophrenia who met a modified version of Weidens’ high frequency criteria were randomized into two groups. One group received a modified assertive intervention based on the international assertive community treatment model. The other group received standard care according to the model of service delivery in this region. Data was collected after 36 months, comparing readmissions and days spent in hospital.

The results demonstrated significant differences between the groups. Patients in the intervention group had significantly less readmissions (p = 0.007) and spent less days in hospital compared to the patients in the control group (p = 0.013).

Modified assertive interventions may be successful in reducing readmissions and days spent in hospital in developing countries where standard care services are less comprehensive. These interventions can be tailored in such a way to meet service needs and still remain affordable and feasible within the context of an under-resourced setting.

Download full-text


Available from: Niehaus DJ, Jul 07, 2014
1 Follower
19 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: These international clinical practice guidelines were developed with detailed input from 29 invited international consultants, who provided content as well as detailed feedback on draft versions. The final draft of the guidelines was ratified by the Executive of the International Early Psychosis Association and presented and formally endorsed at the Third International Conference on Early Psychosis held in Copenhagen, September 2002. They have been revised slightly to include medications that were not available in 2002, although a fully comprehensive process of update has not yet been conducted. The final version is published in this Supplement with the aim of encouraging further discussion as well as providing practical guidance to clinicians and researchers. A second edition is planned for publication in 2008.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Frequent users of health care services are a relatively small group of patients who account for a disproportionately large amount of health care utilization. We conducted a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of interventions to improve the coordination of care to reduce health care utilization in this patient group. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Library from inception until May 2014 for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) assessing quality improvement strategies for the coordination of care of frequent users of the health care system. Articles were screened, and data abstracted and appraised for quality by 2 reviewers, independently. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted. Results: We identified 36 RCTs and 14 companion reports (total 7494 patients). Significantly fewer patients in the intervention group than in the control group were admitted to hospital (relative risk [RR] 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-0.91). In subgroup analyses, a similar effect was observed among patients with chronic medical conditions other than mental illness, but not among patients with mental illness. In addition, significantly fewer patients 65 years and older in the intervention group than in the control group visited emergency departments (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.54-0.89). Interpretation: We found that quality improvement strategies for coordination of care reduced hospital admissions among patients with chronic conditions other than mental illness and reduced emergency department visits among older patients. Our results may help clinicians and policy-makers reduce utilization through the use of strategies that target the system (team changes, case management) and the patient (promotion of self-management).
    Canadian Medical Association journal 09/2014; DOI:10.1503/cmaj.140289 · 5.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Danish Health and Medicines Authority assembled a group of experts to develop a national clinical guideline for patients with schizophrenia and complex mental health needs. Within this context, ten explicit review questions were formulated, covering several identified key issues. Systematic literature searches were performed stepwise for each review question to identify relevant guidelines, systematic reviews/meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials. The quality of the body of evidence for each review question was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Clinical recommendations were developed on the basis of the evidence, assessment of the risk-benefit ratio, and perceived patient preferences. Based on the identified evidence, a guideline development group (GDG) recommended that the following interventions should be offered routinely: antipsychotic maintenance therapy, family intervention and assertive community treatment. The following interventions should be considered: long-acting injectable antipsychotics, neurocognitive training, social cognitive training, cognitive behavioural therapy for persistent positive and/or negative symptoms, and the combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing for cannabis and/or central stimulant abuse. SSRI or SNRI add-on treatment for persistent negative symptoms should be used only cautiously. Where no evidence was available, the GDG agreed on a good practice recommendation. The implementation of this guideline in daily clinical practice can facilitate good treatment outcomes within the population of patients with schizophrenia and complex mental health needs. The guideline does not cover all available interventions and should be used in conjunction with other relevant guidelines.
    Nordic journal of psychiatry 09/2015; DOI:10.3109/08039488.2015.1074285 · 1.34 Impact Factor