Development of community care for people with Schizophrenia in Chile
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Chile has greatly reformed its approach to psychiatric care in the last two decades, having transitioned from a model centered around a psychiatric hospital to one in which mental health care is based in the community. During this period, patients were moved from large psychiatric hospitals into ambulatory clinics, and the number of people who were in hospitals for extended periods decreased. At the same time, mental health service networks—consisting of ambulatory clinics, day hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and community group homes—were created, each responsible for a specific population. The reform process, however, has occurred in different, unequal degrees throughout the country. The purpose of this investigation is to compare the characteristics, resources, and results of the mental health service networks that have successfully transitioned to and developed in the community with respect to those that are still centered in a hospital. The structural aspects were evaluated with the EvaRedCom–TMS (Evaluación de Redes de Servicios Comunitarios para Trastornos Mentales Severos), and the level of functioning was measured with World Health Organization’s International Classification of Mental Health Care. Area networks with higher levels of community-based services show better indicators of geographic and financial accessibility, use less human resources (particularly psychiatrists and nursing assistants), have an equal level of specialization, and yet show better treatment adherence among the patients (84.2 percent versus 41.8 percent), despite the fact that the patients have worse socioeconomic and clinical indicators than area networks with lower levels of community-based services. In conclusion, the community-based psychiatric care model is more effective than the hospital-centered model.
This study was funded by Project FONIS–CONICYT, Chile SA08i20033
Quote ItemInternational Journal of Mental Health, vol. 41, no. 1, Spring 2012, pp. 48–61
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