Care transition interventions in mental health

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2012 Nov;25(6):551-8. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328358df75.


Purpose of review: Addressing issues in transitioning patients from inpatient to outpatient care is one of the most salient themes in mental healthcare. We review current models and initiatives in general and mental healthcare and propose an intervention framework.

Recent findings: Using search terms in online databases and archives, we identified two broad categories of care transition interventions: models that have been put forward and tested in the area of general medical care and have potential for adaptation in mental health; and a more limited set of models that have been put forward and, to some extent, tested in the mental health context. On the basis of these categorical summaries, we propose nine components as core elements for interventions to address transitions in the mental health population more effectively.

Summary: This review of intervention models identified multiple models, trials and initiatives for care transition interventions for general medical populations, but few targeted specifically for mental health populations. We believe that proposing a conceptual framework specifying a core set of care transition intervention components can stimulate the development of interventions that specifically address patients with serious mental illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / methods*
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Outpatients / psychology
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission