Objectives: To describe a home-based treatment (HBT) service. To profile the patient population using HBT. To determine why HBT was used and to record disposal.
Method: All patients treated by HBT during the first two years of this new service were identified from the HBT logbook. A checklist recording demographic, diagnostic, presenting complaint data and details of HBT contact was used to analyse the patients' charts. A statistical package JMP was used to analyse the data.
Results: Two hundred and six patients (275 episodes) were treated using HBT. These were 101 (49.1 %) males and 105 (50.9%) females. Of these, 89 (43.2%) were single. Forty-eight (19.4%) lived alone and 53 (25.7%) were unemployed. The most common presenting complaint was severe depression (39.3%). A depressive disorder was the most frequent diagnosis (28.7%). Twenty six (13%) episodes of HBT ended in admission. One hundred and eighty five (67.3%) were referred to outpatients and 26 (9.5%) were discharged to the GP.
Conclusions: Home-based treatment is feasible for a wide range of patients with an array of presenting complaints. This model of service delivery is viable in a rural setting. Admission will still be required for some patients. Further work is needed to examine its sustainability and its generalisability to other Irish settings.