BACKGROUND: The current debate on organisation of the mental health care raises a question whether to prioritise specialisation of clinical teams or personal continuity of care. The article explores the experiences of patients and clinicians regarding specialisation (SC) and personal continuity (PCC) of care in five European countries. METHODS: Data were obtained via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with patients (N = 188) suffering from mental disorders (F20-49) and with clinicians (N = 63). A maximum variation sampling was applied to assume representation of patients and of clinicians with different characteristics. The qualitative data from each country were transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed through a thematic analysis method. RESULTS: Many positive experiences of patients and clinicians with the PCC approach relate to the high quality of therapeutic relationship and the smooth transition between hospital and community care. Many positive experiences of patients and clinicians with the SC approach relate to concepts of autonomy and choice and the higher adequacy of diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians stressed system aspects of providing mental health care: more effective management structure and higher professionalization of care within SC approach and the lower risk of disengagement from treatment and reduced need for coercion, restraint, forced medication or involuntary admission within PCC. CONCLUSIONS: Neither the PCC, nor the SC approach meets the needs and expectations of all patients (and clinicians). Therefore, future reforms of mental health services should offer a free choice of either approach, considering that there is no evidence of differences in patient outcomes between PCC and SC approaches.

Personal continuity versus specialisation of care approaches in mental healthcare: experiences of patients and clinicians-results of the qualitative study in five European countries

Miglietta, Elisabetta;Ruggeri, Mirella;
2020-01-01

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The current debate on organisation of the mental health care raises a question whether to prioritise specialisation of clinical teams or personal continuity of care. The article explores the experiences of patients and clinicians regarding specialisation (SC) and personal continuity (PCC) of care in five European countries. METHODS: Data were obtained via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with patients (N = 188) suffering from mental disorders (F20-49) and with clinicians (N = 63). A maximum variation sampling was applied to assume representation of patients and of clinicians with different characteristics. The qualitative data from each country were transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed through a thematic analysis method. RESULTS: Many positive experiences of patients and clinicians with the PCC approach relate to the high quality of therapeutic relationship and the smooth transition between hospital and community care. Many positive experiences of patients and clinicians with the SC approach relate to concepts of autonomy and choice and the higher adequacy of diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians stressed system aspects of providing mental health care: more effective management structure and higher professionalization of care within SC approach and the lower risk of disengagement from treatment and reduced need for coercion, restraint, forced medication or involuntary admission within PCC. CONCLUSIONS: Neither the PCC, nor the SC approach meets the needs and expectations of all patients (and clinicians). Therefore, future reforms of mental health services should offer a free choice of either approach, considering that there is no evidence of differences in patient outcomes between PCC and SC approaches.
functional system; integrated system; mental health care organisation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/999988
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