Dropout from outpatient mental health treatment may contribute to high rates of relapse and rehospitalization among veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a quasi-experimental cohort study, 87 male and 17 female veterans discharging from residential PTSD treatment received either standard referral to outpatient care (N = 77) or standard referrals supplemented by biweekly telephone calls (N = 27). Telephone monitoring and support was feasible and acceptable to 85% of clients. Compared to prior patient cohorts, clients receiving telephone support were twice as likely (88% vs. 43%) to complete an outpatient visit within 1 month of discharge and reported higher satisfaction with care.
"Cell phones are now used by 90% of American adults , and one-third of SMs not willing to seek in-person counseling services report willingness to engage in technologybased services . Telephone-based healthcare interventions often result in high satisfaction   as well as efficacy    . "
"According to the British NICE clinical guideline it is recommended to use a brief screening instrument for PTSD routinely one month post-trauma . In smaller populations affected by a disaster, telephone monitoring seems to be a viable approach for coming into contact with PTSD patients in order to encourage them to seek out treatment . However, a routine screening could easily be stretched to its limits in terms of expert resources, costs and effort. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster in 2004, an online psychological self-assessment (ONSET) was developed and made available by the University of Zurich in order to provide an online screening instrument for Tsunami victims to test if they were traumatized and in need of mental health care. The objective of the study was to report the lessons learnt that were made using an Internet-based, self-screening instrument after a large-scale disaster and to discuss its outreach and usefulness.
Users of the online self-assessment decided after finishing the procedure whether their dataset could be used for quality control and scientific evaluation Their answers were stored anonymously only if they consented (which was the case in 88% of the sample), stratified analyses according to level of exposure were conducted.
A total of 2,914 adult users gave their consent for analysis of the screenings. Almost three quarter of the sample filled out the ONSET questionnaire within the first four weeks. Forty-one percent of the users reported direct exposure to the Tsunami disaster. Users who were injured by the Tsunami and users who reported dead or injured family members showed the highest degree of PTSD symptoms.
ONSET was used by a large number of subjects who thought to be affected by the catastrophe in order to help them decide if they needed to see a mental health professional. Furthermore, men more frequently accessed the instrument than women, indicating that Internet-based testing facilitates reaching out to a different group of people than "ordinary" public mental health strategies.
BMC Public Health 01/2011; 11(1):18. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-18 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify whether intensive treatment and aftercare telephone contacts influence long-term abstinence and well-being of patients with alcohol dependency.
Six hundred and twenty two patients were evaluated at the beginning and end of intensive in-patient treatment. At the end of the treatment, the patients were divided into two recruitment cohorts--telephone contact group (n=347), in whom basic outcome criteria (abstinence, marital and employment status, self-evaluation of well-being) were evaluated 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after intensive treatment, and no contact group (n=275) in whom the basic outcome criteria were checked only at 24 months after the intensive treatment. At 24 months, response rate was 33.4% in telephone contact group (n=116) and 30.5% (n=84) in no contact group.
Positive indicators of therapy success (abstinence or decrease in drinking, stabile social relations, and more positive self-evaluation of well-being) were found in 53.0% of patients at 3 months, 44.3% at 6 months, and 30.6% at 12 months in telephone contact group. Overall abstinence 24 months after the end of intensive treatment was reported in 25.7% of all patients, including non-respondents. Both groups achieved significant improvement in subjective well-being during intensive treatment. At 24 months, 3 attributes of subjective well-being (subjective psychological health, evaluation of financial status, general quality of life) were significantly higher in telephone contact group. However, groups did not significantly differ in the abstinence level (telephone contact group=27.7%, no contact group=24.4%).
Significant differences in well-being variables between telephone contact group and no contact group at 24 months after the end of intensive treatment are at least partially due to phone contact/informative checking 3, 6, and 12 months after the end of intensive therapy. Telephone or any short and easy accessible communication checking is a promising as supportive and research tool in aftercare alcohol addiction treatment, especially because of its cost-benefit advantages.
Croatian Medical Journal 01/2009; 49(6):763-71. DOI:10.3325/cmj.2008.49.763 · 1.31 Impact Factor
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