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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Temple: Review Finds Common Pitfalls in Post-hospital Care for People with SMI

Successfully easing back into the commotion of everyday life is challenging for people discharged from hospitals. For people with serious mental illness (SMI), like schizophrenia or major depression, the period immediately after discharge can be a high-risk moment for homelessness, unemployment and loneliness. Absence of well-coordinated care after discharge often leads to a return trip to the hospital.

“Many people receive care for a short period of time, and they’re out immediately without the needed support and understanding of what is out there,” says Dr. Yaara Zisman-Ilani, an investigator at the Collaborative on Community Inclusion, housed in Temple University College of Public Health. Sometimes, with a second or third hospitalization, the symptoms are worse.”

In a broad review published this spring in Administration and Policy in Mental Health Services Research, the Collaborative’s Dr. Zisman-Ilani and Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, as well as co-authors Dr. Marianne Storm (who led the study and started the project with Dr. Zisman-Ilani in 2016), Dr. Anne Marie Lunde-Husebø and Dr. Glyn Elwyn pulled together the findings of key research papers on interventions aimed at improving hospital-to-community transitions for people with SMI.

Their scoping review is designed to identify themes that emerge across multiple studies, which taken together encompass a wide variety of patient experiences and outcomes, enabling a broad and nuanced overview that a single study might not offer. The project was able to examine what concerns people with SMI and caregivers frequently express, which post-discharge care approaches have been effective, and which promising interventions might benefit from further research.

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