Flexible Assertive Community Treatment (Flexible ACT) has been implemented in Sweden during recent years due to increasing interest in integrated services for people with severe mental illness. To date, few studies have been done on Flexible ACT effectiveness.
The overall aim of this study was to explore the extent to which clients assigned to the Flexible ACT board for ACT intensive care were stabilized with improved everyday functioning, social outcomes, and changes in healthcare use.
Ninety-three participants with psychosis, in need of ACT from six newly started Flexible ACT teams, were included. Data were collected using the Social Outcome Index scale (SIX), Practical and Social Functioning Scale, and a healthcare usage questionnaire.
There was a significant positive change in everyday functioning and in the SIX-item 'friendship' at 18-months follow-up. A positive correlation was also found between everyday functioning and the SIX-item 'friendship' and a negative correlation between duration of ACT and everyday functioning. A significant increase in number of inpatient hospital days and psychiatric outpatient visits also occurred.
Clients with psychosis who need ACT may benefit from Flexible ACT through improved social functioning. Being involved in meaningful activities and supported by others are key aspects of recovering from mental illness and are enhanced by Flexible ACT.