The closing of central state hospital: Long-term outcomes for persons with severe mental illness

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This study examined the clinical/community functioning of long-stay patients following closing of a large state psychiatric hospital. Two overlapping samples were followed: (1) the tracking project collected information on patient location, treatment provision, legal contacts, and level of functioning (LOF) and followed all discharged patients and (2) the research study subsample, drawn from the final group of discharged patients, gathered information on quality of life (QOL), LOF, and general physical and mental health. At follow-up, patients were functioning equal to or better than prior to discharge. There were consistent improvements in QOL (especially safety and occupational satisfaction) and LOF (especially housing and income/benefits). Fewer than 27% of patients discharged into the community were rehospitalized, and fewer than 4% were either in jail or homeless after 24 months. The study demonstrates that even persons who have been hospitalized for extremely long periods can do well in the community.

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