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The SIEP-DIRECT's Project on the discrepancy between routine practice and evidence. An outline of main findings and practical implications for the future of community based mental health services

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2011

Mirella Ruggeri*
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezionedi Psichiatria e di Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Verona
Antonio Lora
Affiliation:
Dipartimento Salute Mentale, Azienda Ospedaliera di Vimercate, Vimercate (Milano)
Domenico Semisa
Affiliation:
Dipartimento Salute Mentale ASL Provinciale di Bari, Centro di Salute Mentale Acquaviva delle Fonti (Bari)
*
Address fo correspondence: Professor M. Ruggeri, Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Psichiatria e Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Policlinico G. B. Rossi, P.le L. A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona. Fax: +39-045-812889 E-mail: mirella .ruggeri@univr.it

Summary

Aims – To highlight the major discrepancies that emerged between evidence and routine practice in the framework of the SIEP-DIRECT's Project (DIscrepancy between Routine practice and Evidence in psychiatric Community Treatments on Schizophrenia ). The Project was conducted in 19 Italian mental health services (MHS), with the aims of: a) evaluating the appropriateness of the NICE Guidelines for Schizophrenia in the Italian context, b) developing and testing a set of 103 indicators that operationalised preferred clinical practice requirements according to the NICE Guidelines, and c) evaluating their actual application in Italian MHSs. Methods – The indicators investigated five different areas: common elements in all phases of schizophrenia; first episode treatment; crisis treatment; promoting recovery; the aggressive behaviour management. Results – The NICE recommendations examined were judged in most instances to be appropriate to the Italian MHS context, and the indicators fairly easy to use. The more severe and frequently encountered evidence-practice discrepancies were: lack of written material, guidelines, and information to be systematically provided to users; lack of intervention monitoring and evaluation; difficulty in implementingspecific and structured forms of intervention; difficulty in considering patients' family members as figures requiring targeted support themselves and who should also be regularly involved in the patient care process. Conclusions – The key actions to be undertaken to favour implementation of evidence-based routine practices are: focussing on mental illness onset and family support/involvement in care; planning training activities aimed at achieving specific treatment goals; encouraging MHS participation in evaluation activities; identifying thresholds for guideline application and promoting specific guideline implementation actions; and activating decision making and resource allocationprocesses that rely more strictly on evidence and epidemiological assessment. These considerations are of value for rethinking the model of community psychiatry in Italy as well as in other countries.

Declaration of Interest: None.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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