A crisis resolution and home treatment team in Norway: a longitudinal survey study Part 1. Patient characteristics at admission and referral
Faculty of Health Sciences, Buskerud University College, Box 7053, 3007, Drammen, Norway
International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2012, 6:18 doi:10.1186/1752-4458-6-18Published: 19 September 2012
Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) is an emerging mode of delivering acute mental health care in the community. There is a paucity of knowledge regarding the workings of CRHT in the literature. This is the first paper in a series of three from the longitudinal survey of patients of a CRHT team in Norway, which was aimed at describing the characteristics of patients served, professional services provided, and clinical outcomes. This report focuses on describing the characteristics of the patients at admission.
The study was a descriptive, quantitative study based on the patient data from a longitudinal survey of one CRHT team in Norway. The participants of the survey, a total of 363 patients, were the complete registration of patients of this team in the period from February 2008 to July 2009.
Although diverse in their characteristics, the patients were over represented by females, young to middle aged, and people on public support. The patients were mostly referred to the team by self/family members and primary care physicians. At admission, depression was the most prevalent symptom, the overall intensity level of mental health problems was low, and most of the patients had long-standing mental health problems.
Self/family referral seems to be a critical route to receive services by CRTH teams as shown in our study, suggesting a need to examine policies that disallow this form of referral in some communities. The findings from our study show that the patients of the CRHT team, while mostly having long-standing mental health problems and had been receiving healthcare for them, did not have severe mental health problems at admission, although could have been in crises. There is a need for further studies to examine how people with severe mental health problems obtain services in time of crises, and to address the need to gain a greater understanding of the role of CRHT.