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Brief Reports   |    
Relationship of Community Integration of Persons With Severe Mental Illness and Mental Health Service Intensity
Rohini Pahwa, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Bromley, M.D., Ph.D.; Benjamin Brekke, B.S.; Sonya Gabrielian, M.D., M.P.H.; Joel T. Braslow, M.D., Ph.D.; John S. Brekke, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300233
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Dr. Pahwa, Mr. Brekke, and Dr. Brekke are with the School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (e-mail: pahwa@usc.edu). Dr. Bromley is with the Semel Institute Center for Health Services and Society, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare Center. Dr. Gabrielian is with the Department of Psychiatry, VA Healthcare Center, Greater Los Angeles, and the Department of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Braslow is with the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of History, UCLA.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

Objective  Community integration is integral to recovery for individuals with severe mental illness. This study explored the integration of individuals with severe mental illness into mental health and non–mental health communities and associations with mental health service intensity.

Methods  Thirty-three ethnically diverse participants with severe mental illness were categorized in high-intensity (N=18) or low-intensity (N=15) mental health service groups. Community integration was assessed with measures of involvement in community activities, social capital resources, social support, social network maps, and subjective integration.

Results  Although participants rated themselves as being more integrated into the mental health community, their social networks and social capital were primarily derived from the non–mental health community. The high-intensity group had a higher proportion of members from the mental health community in their networks and had less overall social capital resources than the low-intensity group.

Conclusions  The findings suggest opportunities and possible incongruities in the experience of community integration.

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Table 1Measures of community integration for 33 participants with severe mental illness, by intensity of mental health services
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b Scale ranges from 0 to 10.

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c Possible scores range from 0 to 4, with higher scores indicating more satisfaction.

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d Possible scores range from 0 to 84, with higher scores indicting more social capital resources. Total social capital resources is not an arithmetic mean of mental health and non–mental health social capital resources because of the presence of an “other” category.

Table Footer Note

e Possible scores range from 10 to 50, with higher scores indicating greater perceived integration.

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f Possible scores range from 3 to 15, with higher scores indicating greater perceived integration.

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g Possible scores range from 4 to 20, with higher scores indicating greater perceived social support.

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* p=.05, **p=.01

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