Comparison of Mental Health Treatment Settings
The old ongoing debate between hospital-based versus community-based mental health treatment has existed for many years. Mental health care providers and relatives of patients tend to favor one setting over the other. Some patient treatment plans utilize a combination of the two healthcare settings to provide well-balanced psychiatric treatment. When used in combination, there is no need to justify whether or not hospital-based mental health treatment is better than community-based psychiatric treatment. If hospital stays are accessed on an as needed basis, community treatment programs can be used when patients are not hospitalized to give mentally ill individuals opportunities to receive psychosocial rehabilitation services and basic skills training. Many community-based mental health programs offer crisis services on a 24-hour basis. Each patient’s treatment plan varies, according to current needs and past mental health history.
Blend of Services
A variety of services gives mentally ill people a chance to explore a mixed blend of available resources. Communities often offer specialized mental health services to assist with treatment goals. Treatment plans and services will vary by country, state, and community. Some regions have more access to resources than others. The community-based treatment programs geared towards severe mental illnesses can reduce the need for acute inpatient hospitalization. Unfortunately, low-income areas lack access to such mental health services.
The Effectiveness of Health Care Models
Scientific studies show that both mental health care models have the ability to be effective in treating mentally ill patients. Researchers do not favor one health care model over the other. Some instances actually are severe and require psychiatric hospitalization. Hospital-based treatment has certain benefits, and so does community-based treatment programs. It takes a combination of health care models to successfully provide high-quality mental health treatment. For example, when a hospitalized psychiatric patient experiences health issues outside of the scope of psychiatric care; the patient can be referred to see a specialist for that particular health threat. The availability of resources has a strong impact on the development of well-balanced mental health care services. A mixed health care model is possible to implement in countries and states that are in a good financial situation.
Hoult, J., Reynolds, I., Charbonneau-Powis, M., et al (1981) A controlled study of psychiatric hospital versus community treatment – the effect on relatives. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 323-328.
Stein, L. I. & Test, M. A. (1980) Alternative to mental hospital treatment. I. Conceptual model, treatment program, and clinical evaluation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 37, 392-397.