BACKGROUND: The organization of aftercare is important for a successful outcome; still the optimal organization has not been fully explored. An intensive transitional post-discharge aftercare (TA) programme, for a mixed group of non-psychotic patients, was recently developed. Patients with non-psychotic diagnoses are often discharged with low well-being while still symptomatic, placing high demands on aftercare. AIMS: To evaluate retrospectively the short and long-term mental healthcare service use during and after the TA programme compared with the service use of a retrospective comparison group (RC), receiving less intensive outpatient aftercare. METHODS: Number of re-admissions, bed days and emergency visits after 10 weeks, 6 months and 1 year was retrospectively collected from electronic patient registers. Descriptive statistics, independent samples T-tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare the groups. RESULTS: The majority of patients in both groups suffered from affective disorders, followed by personality disorders and a small number of other psychiatric diagnoses. Service use in the TA group was lower than in the RC group with fewer bed days after 10 weeks (P = 0.01) and after 6 months (P = 0.003), and fewer re-admissions after 6-12 months (P = 0.04). Emergency contacts did not differ significantly between the two groups at any point. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates beneficial effects of intensive TA, for a mixed group of non-psychotic patients. The lower service use in the TA programme group is in line with day treatment programme research for patients with affective disorders.
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 2014, Vol 68, Issue 7, p. 500-506
Adult; Aftercare; Denmark; Female; Humans; Length of Stay; Male; Mental Disorders; Mental Health Services; Middle Aged; Mood Disorders; Patient Discharge; Patient Readmission; Personality Disorders; Program Evaluation; Retrospective Studies