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Article   |    
Time Limits in and Leave From a Day Treatment Program
John G. Althoff
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Arkansas Mental Health Services Division, Little Rock, Arkansas

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Prompted by clinical considerations and increased demands for services, the staff of a day treatment program of a community mental health center set time limits on treatment and adopted a policy of scheduling leaves from treatment. A comparative study of two groups of patients treated before and after the time limits were in effect showed a significant decrease in the number of days of treatment per patient but not in the length of treatment over time. The time limits also reduced the number of premature terminations from treatment. Although no objective outcome data were available for the two groups, in the judgment of program staff the clinical results of time-limited treatment are at least as good as those when no limits are set.

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