Assertive community treatment for adults with severe mental illness

Added May 13, 2020

Citation: Vanderlip ER, Henwood BF, Hrouda DR, et al. Systematic literature review of general health care interventions within programs of assertive community treatment. Psychiatric Services 2017; 68: 218-24

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services and resources. Existing research on Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as a way to deliver mental health services may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies assessing the effects of ACT on cost, service utilization and clinical outcomes. They restricted the search to articles published in English and did their search in November 2015. They included 4 randomised trials, 5 cohort studies and 1 case-control study. Most (9 of 10) studies involved adults with severe mental illness.

What was found: The effects of assertive community treatment on patient experience and outcomes, use of care and costs were mixed.

In some studies, the use of assertive community treatment was associated with fewer emergency room visits, an increase in primary care appointments and improvements in patients’ quality of life and their satisfaction.

The effects of ACT on clinical outcomes, such as general medical conditions and mortality, are uncertain.


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