Developing a community-based multidisciplinary service exit typology for young adults with serious mental health conditions

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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2021 May 6. doi: 10.1037/prj0000486. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Increasingly, community mental health providers are implementing multidisciplinary treatment models blending child and adult evidence-based practices to boost young adult engagement. Although promising, limited research examines how and why young adults disengage from these new models. This study examines provider documentation of treatment discharges to create a more developmentally-attuned young adult service exit typology. Method: Service records of 18-25 year-olds (n = 124) who discharged from a young adult-tailored multidisciplinary treatment team over a 5-year period were analyzed. A research team conducted a systematic content analysis of discharge forms and service notes. Planned and unplanned exits emerged as primary categories, each having distinct subcategories with noted prevalent associated experiences. Results: Participants (n = 124) were enrolled between 7 days to 3.80 years (M = 11.41 months) prior to exit. Those with “planned” exits (n = 71) were enrolled longer than those with “unplanned” exits (n = 53), means respectively 13.17 versus 9.06 months. Planned exits included: transitions either to a lower, similar or higher level of care, a return to previous provider, or insurance issues. Moving outside team geographic area contributed to planned and unplanned exits. Unplanned exits were disproportionately found among participants who were Black, had justice involvement histories, and/or experienced housing instability or homelessness. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Young adult service exits are complex; planned exits are not always positive and unplanned exits are not always negative. Provider and research use of this new service exit typology has particular implications for identifying engagement disparities-and further tailoring models to be more attractive, culturally responsive, and impactful with young adults. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:33956475 | DOI:10.1037/prj0000486