Psychiatric hospitals remain the main venue for long-term mental health care and, despite widespread closures and downsizing, no country that built asylums in the last century has done away with them entirely--with the recent exception of Italy. Differentiated community-based residential alternatives have been developed over the past decades, with staffing levels that range from full-time professional, to daytime only, to part-time/on-call.
This paper reviews the characteristics of community-based psychiatric residential care facilities as an alternative to long-term care in psychiatric hospitals. It describes five factors decision makers should consider: 1. number of residential places needed; 2. staffing levels; 3. physical setting; 4. programming; and 5. governance and financing.
In Italy, facilities with full-time professional staff have been developed since the mid-1990s to accommodate the last cohorts of patients discharged from psychiatric hospitals. In the United Kingdom, experiments with hostel wards since the 1980s have shown that home-like, small-scale facilities with intensive treatment and rehabilitation programming can be effective for the most difficult-to-place patients. More recently in Australia, Community Care Units (CCUs) have been applying this concept. In the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), Tertiary Psychiatric Residential Facilities (TPRFs) have been developed as part of an effort to regionalise health and social services and downsize and ultimately close its only psychiatric hospital.
This type of service must be further developed in addition to the need for forensic, acute-care and intermediate-level beds, as well as for community-based care such as assertive community treatment and intensive case management. All these types of services, together with long-term community-based residential care, constitute the elements of a balanced mental health care system. As part of a region's balanced mental health care plan, these Tertiary Psychiatric Care Facilities have the potential to act as hubs of expertise not only for treatment, rehabilitation, community integration and service co-ordination for the severely mentally ill, but also for research and training.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deinstitutionalization is an ongoing process, as many jurisdictions continue to struggle with redesigning their psychiatric systems. Historically, reducing psychiatric beds and closing hospitals have resulted in deleterious outcomes for people with severe and persistent mental illness. More recent evidence suggests that careful implementation of deinstitutionalization policies can thwart potential adverse consequences and may even foster favorable outcomes. This study evaluated the extent to which the recent devolution of the only tertiary psychiatric hospital in British Columbia resulted in a direct shift of individuals to other institutional sectors, such as criminal justice and health sectors.
Admission rates to general hospitals, continuing care facilities, correctional institutions, and forensic psychiatric facilities were compared among two patient groups: those discharged before the realignment of the tertiary psychiatric hospital system (prerealignment cohort) (N=164) and those discharged after initiation of the system reforms (postrealignment cohort) (N=171).
Most of the patients in the postrealignment cohort have remained in the tertiary care settings to which they were originally discharged. For patients in the postrealignment cohort, contact with other institutional sectors was rare and shorter in duration than it was for patients in the prerealignment cohort.
This study provides preliminary evidence that recent efforts to realign British Columbia's provincial tertiary psychiatric hospital system have not resulted in a significant shift of the relocated patients to institutions in other sectors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The implementation of assertive community treatment (ACT) varies widely. To date, the association between model fidelity and effect has not been investigated in Europe. We investigated the association between model fidelity and outcome in the Dutch mental health system.
In a prospective longitudinal study, ACT model fidelity and patient outcomes were assessed in 20 outpatient treatment teams. Patients with severe mental illness (n = 530) participated in the study. Outcomes were assessed 3 times using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), the Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Assessment Schedule (CANSAS), and the number of hospital days and homeless days during a 2-year follow-up period. Data were analyzed using multilevel statistics.
High ACT model fidelity was associated with better outcomes on the HoNOS and less homeless days. Among all of the ACT ingredients, team structure was associated with better outcomes. No associations were found between ACT model fidelity, number of hospital days, and CANSAS scores.
Our evidence supports the importance of model fidelity for improving patient outcomes.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 03/2011; 56(3):154-60. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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