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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Moving Psychiatric Patients From Hospital to Community: Views of Patients, Providers, and Families
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OBJECTIVE: Differences in the perspectives of severely and persistently ill patients, their family members, and clinical care providers on key aspects of community-based care were examined to help inform community service planning and development.

METHODS: A sample of 183 patients being considered for relocation from psychiatric facilities in Alberta, Canada, to community-based care, were interviewed, as were their primary clinical care providers. Family members of 130 patients were also interviewed.

RESULTS: Among the 130 patient-family pairs, 41 percent disagreed about the desirability of relocation, with fewer patients favoring relocation than families. Forty-nine percent of the pairs disagreed about the desired proximity to the family of the relocated patient, with the patient desiring closer proximity than the family member in about half of these cases. Fifty-three percent of the pairs disagreed about the amount of financial and emotional support that the family would provide after relocation. In half of these cases, patients believed the family would provide a higher level of support than the family indicated it could. Among the patients, 49 percent preferred independent living, whereas only 10 percent of family members and 17 percent of clinical care providers preferred it. Fifty-five percent of patients expressed a clear desire to work, whereas care providers believed that only 12 percent of patients were employable.

CONCLUSIONS: Persistently mentally ill residents of psychiatric facilities express clear preferences about key aspects of community-based care when they are asked, and these preferences often reflect different views from those expressed by either family members or clinical care providers. (Authors)
Psychiatric Services