Intensive home treatment: a first observational evaluation
background Yulius intensive home treatment (iht) offers six weeks of home-care to psychiatric patients in crisis who would normally be hospitalised.
aim To study patient characteristics and the content and outcomes of iht.
method We followed the handling of 75 consecutive applications for iht. Details were recorded before and after admission to the treatment.
results Fifteen patients were referred in order to shorten the period of hospitalisation, and 60 were referred in order to prevent hospitalisation; 59 of the 75 persons admitted for the treatment received iht, and 41 patients finished the six-week module and provided follow-up data. Psychiatric symptoms improved significantly, suicidality was reduced, the caregiver’s burden became much lighter and the evaluation by both patient and caregiver was very positive. iht was sufficient to prevent the need for hospitalisation of 75% of the patients referred for reduced hospitalisation, and it was also adequate to prevent the hospitalisation of more than 91% of patients referred for that particular purpose.
conclusion iht is highly appreciated and is possibly a good alternative to hospitalisation. However, in the future there will have to be randomised, controlled research in order to determine the effectiveness of iht compared to hospitalisation.