543 residents of South Verona, Italy, who contacted the mental health services in 1983 were traced and followed for 1 yr, utilizing a psychiatric case register. With single consulters and long-stay inpatients excluded, a score of service consumption (with subscores for inpatient, daypatient, and outpatient care) was calculated for each S. Seven percent of the Ss seeking care in 1 yr were high users, having received inpatient as well as day and outpatient care. Using another criterion in classifying the patterns of care, Ss were divided into long-term and non-long-term users. The 2 criteria were combined to generate 4 patterns of use of mental health services (high users and long-term users, neither high nor long-term users, high users only, long-term users only). A strong association was found between the pattern of service use and diagnosis, occupational status, and previous psychiatric contacts. (PsycLIT Database Copyright 1987 American Psychological Assn, all rights reserved)
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