OBJECTIVES: Two-year outcomes of patients with schizophrenic disorders
who were assigned to an intensive, team-based case management program and
patients who received standard psychiatric services were assessed. The case
management model featured increased staff contact time with patients,
rehabilitation plans based on patients' expressed needs, and patients'
attendance at team meetings where their rehabilitation plan was discussed.
METHODS: Forty patients were randomly assigned to either the case
management group or the control group that received standard services.
Patients' use of emergency and inpatient services, their quality of life,
the size of their social networks, and their relatives' burden of care were
assessed at assignment to the study groups and at two-year follow-up.
RESULTS: Patients in the case management group had significantly fewer
emergency visits compared with the two years before the study, and their
relatives reported significantly reduced burden of care associated with
relationships with psychiatric services over the two-year period. The size
of patients' social networks increased for the case management group and
decreased for the control group. CONCLUSIONS: A team-based intensive case
management model is an effective intervention in the rehabilitation of
patients with chronic schizophrenia.