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There is limited empirical information on service-level outcome domains and indicators for the large number of people with intellectual disabilities being treated in forensic psychiatric hospitals.
This study identified and developed the domains that should be used to measure treatment outcomes for this population.
A systematic review of the literature highlighted 60 studies which met eligibility criteria; they were synthesised using content analysis. The findings were refined within a consultation and consensus exercises with carers, patients and experts.
The final framework encompassed three a priori superordinate domains: (a) effectiveness, (b) patient safety and (c) patient and carer experience. Within each of these, further sub-domains emerged from our systematic review and consultation exercises. These included severity of clinical symptoms, offending behaviours, reactive and restrictive interventions, quality of life and patient satisfaction.
To index recovery, services need to measure treatment outcomes using this framework.
We examined readmission to psychiatric hospital of 550 patients discharged from one medium secure unit over 20 years. Multiple sources were used to obtain readmission data.
Readmission was common, particularly to non-secure psychiatric hospitals. At least 339 patients (61.6%) were readmitted to any psychiatric hospital (mean follow-up 9.5 years), with over a third (37.6%) subsequently being readmitted to medium- or high-security or both. Of those discharged directly to the community, having previous in-patient treatment and a Mental Health Act classification of mental illness were associated with shorter time to first readmission.
The long-standing nature of disorders is evident in the high rates of readmission overall and the need for readmission to medium and high secure services, suggesting that these patients require long-term follow-up and support from mental health services.