The purpose was to measure the use of psychiatric treatment before and after the start of community psychiatry in a part of Copenhagen. The use was measured during the two years before and after starting for the first 45 patients entering the treatment facility. Number of patients taken in for in-patient treatment, of intakes, of in-patient days, of emergencyroom visits and out-patient attendances were measured. Data about treatment with medicine, committed intakes, suicide attempts and the profession of the case manager were recorded. The number of intakes was reduced from 98 in the two years before community psychiatry to 36 in the period with community psychiatry. In-patient days were reduced by 60%. The number of out-patient contacts was increased six-fold and contacts with psychiatrists two-fold during the period with community psychiatry. Two-thirds of the patients came for day treatment. The treatment contact became more stable. Use of medicine per day was the same, but total use increased because of the more stable contact. No difference in in-patient treatment use was seen according to the case manager's professional education. It is concluded that community psychiatry by increased use of outreach, patient contact, and psychological treatments can increase the stability of the contact and reduce the use of in-patient days.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1993 Oct 18;155(42):33987639837