Children and Adolescents Discharged from Public Psychiatric Hospitals: Evaluation of Outcome in a Continuum of Care

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Ninety children and adolescents admitted to two state-operated psychiatric hospitals were followed from the time of their admission through one year post discharge. Data were collected from the children and adolescents, their families and clinicians at three intervals (during hospitalization, three months post discharge, and one year post discharge) to identify demographic, clinical, and service history characteristics of the children and adolescents, as well as to track their placement and other dispositional status following discharge from the hospital. The data indicated that the children and adolescents were seriously emotionally and behaviorally disturbed, came from families which were economically disadvantaged, and did not typically live in two-parent families. While the majority of the children and adolescents received recommended aftercare services during the three months following discharge from the hospital, there was a decline in placement stability for the children at the one-year post discharge followup. The most important predictors of successful outcome at discharge were living with a family member at the time of hospitalization and the participation of the family in the treatment planning during hospitalization.



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