Symptoms, functioning and quality of life after treatment in a residential sub-acute mental health service in Australia

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to assess clients' and service providers' perspectives on changes in mental health after an admission to a residential recovery-focused, sub-acute service, in Australia. Clients were either step-up clients, entering the service directly from the community, or step-down clients who were transitioning from an inpatient unit to home. During the 30-month period of data collection (August 2011 to January 2014) all clients (N = 102) were invited to participate in the longitudinal study and 41 clients consented to be involved (38% response rate). At admission and exit, participants completed the Behaviour and Symptom Identification Scale (Basis-32) and service providers completed the Life Skills Profile-16 and Health of the Nations Outcome Scales. Follow-up data 3 months after exit were available for 12 clients, including the Basis-32 and a self-report measure of quality of life (Assessment of Quality of Life 8-dimension). Both client groups reported positive improvements between admission and exit in the areas of relation to self and others, psychosis, daily living and presence of depression or anxiety symptoms. Service providers reported gains for clients in the areas of self-care, level of symptoms and presence of social problems. At 3 months, clients generally reported positive quality of life, although there was no significant change in symptoms and functioning. This study demonstrates that after an admission to a sub-acute service, step-up clients experience an improvement in their symptoms and functioning, have avoided a hospital admission and are well enough to return home. Step-down clients also experience further improvements in their symptoms and functioning, indicating that the service has assisted them in their transition to independent living after a hospital admission. Sub-acute residential units provide a continuation of care for inpatients preparing to return home, and people with a mental health problem living in the community who experience an escalation in symptoms and prefer an alternative to hospital
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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