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Diagnoses of personality disorder are prevalent among people using community secondary mental health services. Identifying cost-effective community-based interventions is important when working with finite resources.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of primary or secondary care community-based interventions for people with complex emotional needs who meet criteria for a diagnosis of personality disorder to inform healthcare policy-making.
Systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42020134068) of databases. We included economic evaluations of interventions for adults with complex emotional needs associated with a diagnosis of personality disorder in community mental health settings published before 18 September 2019. Study quality was assessed using the CHEERS statement.
Eighteen studies were included. The studies mainly evaluated psychotherapeutic interventions. Studies were also identified that evaluated altering the setting in which care was delivered and joint crisis plans. No strong economic evidence to support a single intervention or model of community-based care was identified.
Robust economic evidence to support a single intervention or model of community-based care for people with complex emotional needs is lacking. The strongest evidence was for dialectical behaviour therapy, with all three identified studies indicating that it is likely to be cost-effective in community settings compared with treatment as usual. More robust evidence is required on the cost-effectiveness of community-based interventions on which decision makers can confidently base guidelines or allocate resources. The evidence should be based on consistent measures of costs and outcomes with sufficient sample sizes to demonstrate impacts on these.
For people in mental health crisis, acute day units (ADUs) provide daily structured sessions and peer support in non-residential settings, often as an addition or alternative to crisis resolution teams (CRTs). There is little recent evidence about outcomes for those using ADUs, particularly compared with those receiving CRT care alone.
We aimed to investigate readmission rates, satisfaction and well-being outcomes for people using ADUs and CRTs.
We conducted a cohort study comparing readmission to acute mental healthcare during a 6-month period for ADU and CRT participants. Secondary outcomes included satisfaction (Client Satisfaction Questionnaire), well-being (Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale) and depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale).
We recruited 744 participants (ADU: n = 431, 58%; CRT: n = 312, 42%) across four National Health Service trusts/health regions. There was no statistically significant overall difference in readmissions: 21% of ADU participants and 23% of CRT participants were readmitted over 6 months (adjusted hazard ratio 0.78, 95% CI 0.54–1.14). However, readmission results varied substantially by setting. At follow-up, ADU participants had significantly higher Client Satisfaction Questionnaire scores (2.5, 95% CI 1.4–3.5, P < 0.001) and well-being scores (1.3, 95% CI 0.4–2.1, P = 0.004), and lower depression scores (−1.7, 95% CI −2.7 to −0.8, P < 0.001), than CRT participants.
Patients who accessed ADUs demonstrated better outcomes for satisfaction, well-being and depression, and no significant differences in risk of readmission, compared with those who only used CRTs. Given the positive outcomes for patients, and the fact that ADUs are inconsistently provided in the National Health Service, their value and place in the acute care pathway needs further consideration and research.
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