Background: Acute crisis care is a difficult area in which to run a randomised
controlled trial. There is interest in alternative research methods. The setting of this
research project is Mental Health Decision Units (MDHUs). They provide dedicated
24-hour facilities for enhanced mental health assessment, offering short-term
support targeting people for whom inpatient admission is being considered with the
aim of putting alternative treatment in place. These have been developed in
response to the pressure on acute mental health care internationally.
Results and Conclusions: This will be the first formal
evaluation of MHDU services in England and the only
project to date that includes comparison of different
MHDUs, enabling us to identify and model optimum
configuration and scale up of MDHUs.
Routinely collected healthcare data will be analysed to explore change in acute
and psychiatric hospital activity after the introduction of MHDUs at four sites using
interrupted time series and synthetic control methods.
Control is 'synthetic',
using data from a
donor pool of similar
INTERRUPTED TIME SERIES AND
SYNTHETIC CONTROL STUDY TO
EVALUATE MENTAL HEALTH DECISION UNITS IN ACUTE
CARE PATHWAYS: DESIGN AND PROTOCOL