Therapeutic relationships: from psychiatric hospital to community
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The objective of this study was to determine the cost and effectiveness of a transitional discharge model (TDM) of care with clients who have a chronic mental illness. The model was tested in a randomized clinical trial using a cluster design. This model consisted of: (1) Peer support for 1 year and (2) Ongoing support from hospital staff until a therapeutic relationship was established with the community care provider. Participants (n = 390) were interviewed at discharge, 1 month post-discharge, 6 months post-discharge and 1 year post-discharge. Data collected included demographics, quality of life, health care utilization, levels of functioning and the degree of intervention received. The intervention group post-discharge costs and quality of life were not significantly improved compared with the control group. Although not predicted a priori, intervention subjects were discharged an average of 116 days earlier per person. Based on the hospital per diem rate this would be equivalent to 12M dollars CDN hospital costs. Both under-implementation among implementation wards and contamination in control wards were found. This study demonstrates some of the multiple challenges in health system research.
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