Involuntary outpatient commitment (OPC) is a civil court procedure intended to aid persons with severe mental illness who require more intensive intervention to adhere to outpatient treatment to prevent further deterioration and mental duress while maintaining a less restrictive environment. Current data from studies evaluating OPC are both limited and conflicting. Some studies have positive benefit from OPC while others suggest that OPC does not result in an improvement in the utilization of available services, functioning, or in quality of life when compared to voluntary treatment. Benefits seen are likely contingent upon appropriate funding for community mental health services. A federal grant allowed for the establishment of an Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program in Baldwin County, AL. Primary endpoints for this program are to reduce the incidence and duration of psychiatric hospitalizations, non-emergent emergency room visits, interactions with the criminal justice system with the maintenance of treatment in the least restrictive environment, reduce the incidence of homelessness for individuals with a severe mental illness, and to improve access to and compliance with healthcare. Here we present the primary endpoint findings as well as an analysis of the net costs of the Baldwin County’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment program.
This poster was presented at the 32nd annual Psych Congress, held Oct. 3-6, 2019, in San Diego, California.