The objectives of this study were to review the literature on alternatives to traditional treatment of acute mental disorders and to describe the effects of these interventions. The main emphasis is on crisis resolution teams (CRT) because there are governmental plans to implement these in all Norwegian community mental health centres.
The reviewed literature is based on a search for randomized controlled studies that compare the effect of standard emergency treatment with alternative emergency services. Quasi-experimental studies of crisis resolution teams were also included.
The identified alternative interventions were: emergency residential/domestic care, emergency day centres, and crisis resolution teams (or assertive/out-reach/mobile crisis teams). Studies of acute day hospitals showed that this treatment is associated with reduced hospitalisation, faster recovery and reduced costs compared with treatment in traditional hospital acute wards. Because of insufficient research, it was not possible to draw conclusions on the effects of residential or domestic care. We identified six randomized controlled studies and four quasiexperimental studies of Crisis Resolution Teams. These studies indicate that Crisis Resolution Teams or other forms of assertive homebased mobile/outreach treatment, is an acceptable alternative to hospitalization for many patients. The clinical effect of such treatment seems to be comparable with traditional treatment, and are associated with reduced hospitalizations and rehospitalizations, and with reduced costs. None of the reviewed treatment can replace traditional acute hospital treatment. Although studies of alternatives to acute hospitalization have congruent results, there are few studies and methodological weaknesses make it difficult to draw firm scientific conclusions about the effect of such interventions.
The establishment of crisis resolution teams (CRTs) is part of the national mental health policy in several Western countries. The purpose of the present study is to describe characteristics of CRTs and their patients, explore the differences between CRTs, and examine whether the CRTs in Norway are organized according to the international CRT model.
The study was a naturalistic study of eight CRTs and 680 patients referred to these teams in Norway. Mental health problems were assessed using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), Global Assessment of Functioning Scales (GAF) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10).
None of the CRTs operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7 availability) or had gate-keeping functions for acute wards. The CRTs also treated patients who were not considered for hospital admission. Forty per cent of patients waited more than 24 hours for treatment. Fourteen per cent had psychotic symptoms, and 69% had affective symptoms. There were significant variations between teams in patients' total severity of symptoms and social problems, but no variations between teams with respect to patients' aggressive behaviour, non-accidental self-injury, substance abuse or psychotic symptoms. There was a tendency for teams operating extended hours to treat patients with more severe mental illnesses.
The CRT model has been implemented in Norway without a rapid response, gate-keeping function and 24/7 availability. These findings indicate that the CRTs do not completely fulfil their intended role in the mental health system.
The purpose of this explorative study was to examine satisfaction among 70 users of 12 Norwegian Assertive Community Treatment teams. The study was carried out among a group of 70 service users, and reveals generally high levels of satisfaction with the service, with satisfaction also being high in comparison to other ACT satisfaction studies. Users under a Community Treatment Order were more satisfied, while users with an alcohol use disorder were less satisfied. Younger service users were less positive than older users. There was no difference in satisfaction between the genders. This study's positive result may reflect the ACT model's focus on user involvement, recovery and building relationships, and the fact that this service has a more holistic approach than previous services that users have experienced.
GPs and patients are frequently asked to evaluate mental health care, but studies including evaluations from both groups are rare.
To assess the association between GPs' and patients' assessment of mental health outpatient clinic in Norway and identify important health care predictors for patient and GP satisfaction with the clinics.
Two cross-sectional national surveys were carried out: survey of GPs in 2006 and patients in 2007 evaluating outpatient clinics at 69 community mental health centres in Norway. A total of 2009 GPs and 9001 outpatients assessed the clinics by means of a postal questionnaire. Main outcome measures were correlations between GP and patient ratings of the outpatient clinics at the clinic level and health care predictors for patient satisfaction and GP satisfaction with the clinics.
Clinic scores for GPs' and patients' assessment of waiting time were moderate to highly correlated (0.65), while clinic scores for GP and patient satisfaction had a lower but significant positive association (0.37). Significant positive correlations between clinic scores for GP and patients ratings were found for 38 of the 48 associations tested. The most important predictors for patient satisfaction with the clinics were interaction with the clinician (beta: 0.23) and being met with politeness and respect at the clinic (beta: 0.19), while the most important predictors for GP satisfaction with the clinics were perceived competence (beta: 0.25), rejection of referrals (beta: -0.17) and waiting time for patients (beta: -0.16).
A consistent positive association between GP and patient ratings at the clinic level was identified. Mental health services aiming at improving GP and patient satisfaction should be sensitive to the fact that the two groups prioritize different health care factors.
Level of functioning is positively associated with subjective quality of life for people with severe mental illness, but a detailed relationship between functioning and satisfaction with various life domains is largely unknown, and this gap prompted this study.
Demographic and clinical data were obtained from 149 patients engaged with 12 assertive community treatment teams in Norway. Multivariate regression analyses were used to explore associations between subjective quality of life and patient characteristics.
Analyses confirmed positive associations between quality of life and age, functioning, and weekly contact with family and friends and a negative association with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Positive associations between several areas of practical and social functioning and satisfaction with related life domains also were found.
Although a causal direction of the associations between functioning and life satisfaction has not been determined in this study, the positive findings might indicate that programs aiming to improve functioning could affect patients' quality of life.
Previous studies have shown that children may take on higher extents of caring activities if their parents are affected by severe illness or disability, especially when their parents lack access to formal and informal care.
This study examined the extent and nature of caring activities done by patients' children; differences in caring activities between different types of parental illness; factors associated with caring activities.
An explorative cross-sectional multicentre study.
Parents as patients in specialised healthcare services, and their children, were recruited from five health trusts in Norway. The sample included 246 children aged 8-17 years and their 238 parents with severe physical illness (neurological disease or cancer) (n = 135), mental illness (n = 75) or substance abuse (n = 28).
Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities (MACA-YC18).
A large number of children with ill parents are performing various caring activities. Increased caring activities among children due to their parent's illness were confirmed by their parents, especially with regard to personal care. We found no significant differences in the extent of caring activities between illness types, but there were some differences in the nature of these activities. Factors significantly associated with the extent and nature of caring activities were as follows: better social skills and higher external locus of control among the children; and poorer physical parental health. Parent's access to home-based services was limited.
In recruitment of participants for the study, a sampling bias may have occurred.
To promote coping and to prevent inappropriate or extensive caring activities among children with ill parents, there is a need for increased access to flexible home-based services adapted to the type of parental illness.
For many years, it has been an objective of national public health policy in Norway to reduce the number of compulsory hospitalisations under the Norwegian Mental Health Care Act. Uncertain data quality and inadequate reporting have made it difficult to obtain reliable measurements of hospitalisation trends. We have examined changes in psychiatric emergency admissions and compulsory hospitalisations under the Mental Health Care Act between 2000 and 2010 in the county of Østfold.
The material on which the study is based was gathered during two three-month periods – from 1 September to 30 November in the years 2000 and 2010 respectively. We compared emergency admissions in accordance with the national care quality indicator for compulsory hospitalisation in mental health care and examined whether there were changes in the diagnostic composition.
The number of emergency admissions per 1,000 population in Østfold increased from a rate of 7.05 in 2000 to 8.86 in 2010 (p
People who struggle with mental health problems can provide valuable insight into understanding and improving the coordination of mental health and welfare services. The aims of the study were to explore service users' experiences and perceptions of continuity of care within and across services relevant to personal recovery, to elicit which dimensions of continuity of care are most essential to service users, and to generate ideas for improving service users' experiences of continuity of care.
In the context of a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach, ten service users at a community mental health centre were interviewed about their experiences of continuity of care in and across services. Eight of these were re-interviewed two years later. A collaborative research approach was adopted. Data were analysed by means of a data-driven stepwise approach in line with thematic analysis.
Following the analysis five themes representing experiences of continuity of care were developed. Each theme ranged from poor to good experiences of continuity of care: Relationship - from experiencing frequent setbacks and anxiety due to breaks in relationships, to feeling safe in an ongoing personal relationship; Timeliness - from experiencing frustrating waiting times with worsening of problems, to getting help when needed; Mutuality - from having a one-sided struggle, to a situation in which both professionals and service users take initiatives; Choice - from not having the opportunity to make practical arrangements within the context of one's everyday life, to having an array of support options to choose from; Knowledge - from feeling confused and insecure because one does not know what is happening, to feeling safe because one is informed about what is going to happen. Participants provided a range of suggestions for improving experiences of continuity of care.
A discrepancy between aspects of continuity that are essential for service users and their experiences of actual practice was revealed. The valid evidence generated in the present collaborative study therefore offers knowledge to policy makers, professionals and service users that may be of help in their future efforts in orienting primary care, mental health, addiction and welfare services towards recovery.
Previous research on mental health care has shown considerable differences in use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication among different wards and geographical areas. This study investigates to what extent use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication for involuntary admitted patients in Norwegian acute psychiatric wards is associated with patient, staff and ward characteristics. The study includes data from 32 acute psychiatric wards.
Multilevel logistic regression using Stata was applied with data from 1016 involuntary admitted patients that were linked to data about wards. The sample comprised two hierarchical levels (patients and wards) and the dependent variables had two values (0 = no use and 1 = use). Coercive measures were defined as use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary depot medication during hospitalization.
The total number of involuntary admitted patients was 1214 (35% of total sample). The percentage of patients who were exposed to coercive measures ranged from 0-88% across wards. Of the involuntary admitted patients, 424 (35%) had been secluded, 117 (10%) had been restrained and 113 (9%) had received involuntary depot medication at discharge. Data from 1016 patients could be linked in the multilevel analysis. There was a substantial between-ward variance in the use of coercive measures; however, this was influenced to some extent by compositional differences across wards, especially for the use of restraint.
The substantial between-ward variance, even when adjusting for patients' individual psychopathology, indicates that ward factors influence the use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication and that some wards have the potential for quality improvement. Hence, interventions to reduce the use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication should take into account organizational and environmental factors.