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May 1974

Community Mental Health and the Seriously Disturbed PatientFirst Admission Outcomes

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(5):693-696. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760110103013

Among its principal goals, the community mental health model aims at reducing disability due to mental illness through early crisis intervention. A large midwest regional center has been conducting a series of outcome evaluation studies to test the effectiveness and productivity of the community-oriented approach.

The present investigation reports on a four-year comparative study of all seriously disturbed persons from a ten-county area who were hospitalized for the first time. The center group had fewer days hospitalized, less disability, less total cost per patient and per capita, as well as, a lower cost-benefit ratio than traditional state hospitals. Neither system of care, however, was successful with a small hardcore group of long-term patients.

The study findings were used as feedback by the center's administration to modify the overall program and allocation of available resources.