Outreach visits improve referral of alcohol dependent patients from psychiatric hospital to continued care. A randomized trial

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Purpose: Many patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) fail to initiate outpatient treatment after being discharged from inpatient detoxification. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of outreach visits (OV) on subsequent attendance in outpatient AUD treatment.
Methods: Patients admitted to a detoxification unit at a mental health hospital were randomized to either referral as usual (TAU) or OV. OV involved a nurse from the outpatient clinic meeting the patients at the hospital and advising them about outpatient treatment, presenting an ‘attendance contract’ and offering a first appointment.
Results: One hundred consecutive patients were randomized while hospitalized, 55 received TAU and 45 OV. About 84.4% OV patients presented for treatment at the outpatient clinic compared to 58.2% TAU-patients (p = .004). About 46.7% OV patients received continuing care for at least 3 months compared to 23.6% TAU-patients (p = .016).
Conclusion: OV are an effective strategy for ensuring continued treatment.
TidsskriftNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)303-310
StatusUdgivet - 19. maj 2018