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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Aftercare services for discharged mental patients : an initial assessment of the services offered by the After Care Clinic to patients discharged from Riverview Hospital Rodgers, Patricia Fern


There has been a growing trend to discharge patients from mental hospitals after short periods of hospitalization. These discharged patients may have unresolved problems and need continuing service in the community if they are to maintain their level of social functioning. The After Care Clinic in Burnaby was formed to provide continuing service to the patient. However there is much concern about the high readmission rates to the hospital and the adequacy of the aftercare services. The present study is a pilot study to examine the services provided by the After Care Clinic. The researchers reviewed aftercare literature and utilized hospital records. Information was obtained from questionnaires to patients, clinic staff and other agency staff. Prom these sources the social, work, and home needs of patients and the treatment given were examined. Opinions about the aftercare services and possible improvements were also examined in an attempt to assess the adequacy of the services provided by the After Care Clinic. The findings showed a large number of patient needs and nominal service given. Treatment was medically oriented with brief supportive therapy. Only one person in the sample of 45 saw a social worker. The staff of the clinic and other agencies were aware of the lack of services for the discharged patient but differed in their perception of their roles and their expectations of an adequate service. The clinic staff thought that responsibility for aftercare services should be shared between hospital and community agencies. However community agencies felt that the hospital should assume responsibility. These findings indicate the present gaps in the aftercare services and the need, for responsibility and leadership. It seemed, apparent that it should be the role of the mental health branch to take responsibility for leadership in the development of a coordinated and comprehensive aftercare service.

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