A new perspective: Predictors of alternative care for long-term psychiatric inpatients
In 1990 a prospective multicenter study was started on the effects of alternative care for long-term psychiatric patients. The goals of this study are: the selection of patients who are eligible for alternative care within one year, an assessment of adequate facilities according to patients' needs and the identification of predictors for out of hospital placement. All 1073 longstay patients ( 1 year), from seven general mental hospitals, were included in the study. The ward staff members assessed, by means of a standard- ized procedure, that about 44% of these patients were eligible for alternative care. Sheltered homes accounted for 60% of this group. The best set of predictors is a combination of the duration of stay in the hospital, the attitude of the patient towards discharge and the social skills. All these factors can be influenced and it is possible to increase the chance of discharge by means of goal-oriented interventions.