Recommended Reading: Moving Long-Stay Psychiatric Patients Into The Community: The Importance Of Living Environment

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Authors: John Farhall, Tom Trauer, Peter Cheung, Richard Newton, VIC

Year: 1999

Event: 1999 TheMHS Conference

Subject: recommended reading, community care unit, rehabilitation, book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 0949203750

Abstract: Since 1995 a major evaluation project has been studying the outcomes of 125 patients who moved from a stand-alone psychiatric hospital to one of seven new community care units. Community Care Units (CCUs) are 20 bed clinically staffed rehabilitation services which have replaced long term open wards in Victoria’s mental health service system. Data were collected pre-move, one month post-move and again one year later. Comprehensive assessments included psychopathology, disability, aggressive behaviour, quality of life, attitudes to the change, and satisfaction with accommodation and services. The views of carers and staff were also sought. Results so far show that CCUs had considerably less ‘institutional’ practices. Consumers had strong preferences for their new community placements. Quality of life interviews showed that the primary subjective changes were in the area of living situation. In contrast, measures of psychiatric symptoms and personal functioning changed little. It appears that the major impact of the transition from hospital to community has arisen from the change in living arrangements.

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