Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The effectiveness of Community Support Services for adults with schizophrenia is substantiated by evidence from both research and experience. When comprehensive, coordinated services are provided, the use of long-term hospital services (institutionalization) for adults with schizophrenia is dramatically reduced. This thesis reviews studies pertaining to community care for individuals with schizophrenia, including modifiable risk factors for rehospitalization, which can be dealt with in the community. The transition in Montana's mental health system, which includes altering resource allocation and meeting the challenge ofproviding community support in a rural state, will be discussed. Recommendations for improvement are provided based on experience as an intensive case manager for individuals with severe mental illness. A synthesis of the literature concludes that individuals can be deinstitutionalized and treated in the community, and that community treatment is often more effective than long-term hospitalization. Not only is community treatment often more effective than hospitalization, but it is usually less than the cost of institutionalization.

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