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What Do We Really Know About Community Support Programs? Strategies for Better Monitoring
John S. Brekke
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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University of Southern California, Montgomery Ross Fisher Building, University Park-MC 0411, Los Angeles, California 90089

© 1988 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Studies have shown that community support programs are more effective in treating the chronic mentally ill than traditional forms of aftercare. Yet an analysis of 33 controlled studies of community support programs reveals that almost no systematic empirical knowledge exists about their actual implementation, including the kinds of treatment they deliver, how they can be replicated, or what ingredients account for their success. As a result, dissemination of the community support program model has been slower than expected. Developing effective community support programs requires making a commitment to evaluating programs as they are implemented, identifying program variables to monitor, devising methods for monitoring the variables chosen, and drawing from and building on existing literature about program evaluation. Strategies and models for monitoring implementation of community support programs are described.

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