BACKGROUND: Patients experiencing severe mental illnesses (SMI) need continuing support and remain vulnerable in many domains. Crisis interventions and compulsory admissions are common, causing a huge burden on police, health workers, the community and patients. The aim of this retrospective case-file study is to determine profiles of SMI-patients and their pathways through care among those experiencing multiple public crisis events.
METHODS: Data from a larger study of 323 SMI-patients in Amsterdam were used. These data were linked to data of the public mental health care (PMHC) in order to identify persons that experienced crisis interventions (CI's) between January 2004 and November 2012. The cut-off point for inclusion in the study population was set on three CI's, resulting in a group of 47 SMI-patients. PMHC and mental health care (MHC) data were linked in order to identify profiles in patterns of care. Qualitative content analysis was used to gather and analyze chronological timelines.
RESULTS: Three profiles were identified: SMI-patients with CI's during continuous MHC, SMI-patients with CI's after discharge and SMI-patients with CI's during unstable MHC. For each profile events prior to, during and after a CI were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: PMHC and MHC can possibly identify cases with a high risk of CI's and predict these events based on the results of this study. CI's seem inevitable for a group of SMI-patients in care but they do not only require acute psychiatric care. The collaboration between MHC, PMHC and police could be further developed in a quick and effective triage in order to tackle the complexity of problems of the SMI-patients.