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Services Effectiveness Research Program (SERP)

Duke University School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Current and Recent Projects


Title: Effectiveness of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment

Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health

Principal Investigator(s): Marvin Swartz, MD; Jeffrey Swanson, PhD

SERP Investigators & Collaborators: Richard Van Dorn, PhD; Ryan Wagner, PhD

Project Description: This competing continuation extends the Duke Mental Health Study -- the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the effectiveness of involuntary outpatient commitment (OPC) in reducing rehospitalization and improving outcomes among persons with severe mental illnesses (SMI). OPC is a promising, but controversial legal intervention designed to benefit individuals with SMI who need ongoing psychiatric care and support to prevent dangerous relapse and recidivism, but who are reluctant or have difficulty seeking and following through with community-based treatment. In the RCT recently completed, involuntarily hospitalized patients awaiting OPC were randomly assigned to continue under OPC upon discharge, or be released from their court order and receive voluntary case management services. Analyses of one-year follow-up data demonstrate that subjects who received sustained periods of OPC and frequent outpatient services had significantly reduced hospitalizations and violent behavior. The goals of this application are to: (1) extend existing research on OPC = s effectiveness by completing ongoing RCT analyses; (2) gather new data about mental health consumers = and other stakeholders = preferences and attitudes regarding OPC; (3) synthesize all available evidence on OPC effectiveness and utilities for an expert consensus panel charged with developing OPC practice guidelines; and (4) assess strategies for guideline implementation and design practice improvement research.

 

 
 

 


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

    



 
    
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