Continuity of care for the seriously and persistently mentally ill
Bowling, Jane A.
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This study examines continuity of care for the seriously and persistently mentally ill at a psychiatric hospital continuum of care.;Continuity of care is defined as a process involving the orderly, uninterrupted movement of clients among the diverse elements of a service delivery system (Bachrach 1981). A continuum is defined as the elements which comprise the system.;The study attempts to gain some understanding of the continuum of care at a psychiatric hospital. Utilizing four indices of continuity, it attempts to measure the degree to which these indices, related to four corresponding elements of an ideal typology, are present in this continuum.;These indices and elements are: Client movement or lack of movement in accordance with treatment needs (Continuity of treatment); stability of client-provider relationship (Continuity of relationship); written and verbal communication exists among the providers (Communication of Information); and efforts to locate and bring back clients who appear to be lost in the system (Discontinuity of treatment).;A moving sample of 60 seriously and persistently mentally ill clients is followed as they move from one service site to another along the continuum of care.;Study findings may have programmatic implications for managed behavioral health care service delivery systems.