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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 4, 212 - 220

New research

Forensic (flexible) assertive community treatment: client characteristics and treatment outcomes

L. Neijmeijer, J. Verwoerd, M. van Vugt, C. Place, H. Kroon

background (Flexible) Assertive community treatment ((f)act) is applied increasingly to forensic psychiatric clients. However, evidence about the effectiveness of forensic (f)act is scanty.
aim To investigate to what extent (subgroups of) clients receiving care from forensic (f)act teams show, after a year, changes in their social and psychological functioning and are subjected to fewer justicial outcome measures.
method Between 2009 and 2011, eight forensic (f)act teams collected, at two measurement moments separated by an average of 12 months, data relating to client characteristics and outcomes of care. The study involved 202 clients.
results After a year clients showed significant improvements in psychological and social functioning, and had fewer confrontations with the police and the law. They were detained less often and for shorter periods and were considered to be less likely to reoffend. The number of admissions to mental health care and to addiction and forensic care remained constant.
conclusion Clients with a psychiatric disorder and likely to display criminal behaviour showed improvement while being treated by forensic (f)act teams. Further research is needed to prove whether forensic (f)act treatment will have the desired effects in the longer term and will enjoy the status of being regarded as evidence based practice.

keywords client characteristics, forensic (flexible) act, rom, treatment results