2008 issue 3

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Volume 17, issue 3

Practical hints

How to measure community-based treatment efficacy?

Katarzyna Prot-Klinger1, Małgorzata Pawłowska1
1. Centrum Zdrowia Psychicznego Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (3): 229-232
Keywords: community psychiatry, treatment effectiveness, continuity of care

Abstract

Objective. The paper presents various methods of evaluating the effectiveness of community-based psychiatric care provision.
Review. Community psychiatry is a recommended by the WHO form of treatment for people with severe mental disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar affective illness, major depression, and dementia. The introduction of community psychiatry principles is associated with the process of deinstitutionalization, which despite its commendable striving to transfer mental health care provision from large mental hospitals to the community, may be also associated with increased rates of psychiatric patients' homelessness and poverty. In the light of these changes, evaluation of community-based treatment effectiveness becomes increasingly important. In the measurement of community-based treatment efficacy the health recovery model can be used, as well as the conception of therapeutic relationship . Other approaches include registration of the number of hospital admissions and hospitalization length, as well as the assessment of the patients' social functioning, their subjective quality of life, and family burden.
Conclusions. Community-based treatment efficacy is a complex phenomenon and should be conceptualized multidimensionally rather than limited to symptom relief only. An efficient performance of the community psychiatry sector depends on coordinated action of multidisciplinary teams, including among others the functioning of mental health centers and social assistance services.

Address for correspondence:
dr Katarzyna Prot-Klinger
Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Al. Sobieskiego 9 02-957 Warszawa
tel/fax 022 45 82 855