Delineating the Population Served by a Mobile Crisis Team: Organizing Diversity
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OBJECTIVE: While mobile crisis teams have proliferated to address gaps in service for individuals with serious mental illness, research into their effectiveness is limited. This study identifies specific cohorts of individuals served by a single mobile crisis team so that appropriate program evaluation could be designed and conducted for each unique grouping. METHOD: This retrospective study analyzes specific data from 4 sets of client records (n = 401) at 4 different time periods, using a qualitative, text-based approach. For the first 2 reviews (n = 69 and n = 40), only data related to referral source, sex, details of the reason for referral, and the mental status assessment were known to the researchers. The first 2 sets of records were used to identify the cohorts, the third set was used to confirm these cohorts, and the fourth set was used to determine the reliability of the classification tool. RESULTS: All individual cases for the mobile crisis team could be classified into one of the following categories: Symptoms Disturbing Others, Symptoms Disturbing Self, Information Seeking, For Your Information, and Other. After the third review, the cluster, Symptoms Disturbing Others, was subdivided into Symptoms Disturbing Others-General and Symptoms Disturbing Others-Suicide. CONCLUSIONS: This review was useful in identifying specific cohorts of individuals served by a single mobile crisis team. Clearly identifying who is served by a mobile crisis team is the first step in identifying practice guidelines and appropriate evaluation measures for each distinct group.
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