Integrated Models of Care for Medical Inpatients with Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review
Maria Hussain, Dallas Seitz
13 April 2014
Psychiatric disorders are common among medical inpatient settings and management of psychiatric disorders can be challenging in this setting. Integrated models of care (IMCs) combining psychiatric and medical specialties within a single service may improve psychiatric and medical outcomes, although evidence for IMCs in medical inpatient settings has not been well described.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and Google scholar for relevant articles. We included all randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies in English that evaluated IMCs for medical inpatients with psychiatric disorders when compared with usual care. We defined IMCs as models of care where psychiatric and medical providers had joint responsibility for all patients within a given service. We extracted information on the characteristics of IMCs and on the effects of IMCs on psychiatric, medical, and health service outcomes.
Four studies met the inclusion criteria, thereby including 716 participants overall. All studies differed in the study design, models of IMCs, and outcomes reported. In 2 studies, IMCs improved psychiatric symptoms compared with those admitted to a general medical service. Two studies demonstrated reductions in length of stay with IMCs compared with usual care. One study reported an improvement in functional outcomes and a decreased likelihood of long-term care admission associated with IMCs when compared with usual care.
There is preliminary evidence that IMCs may improve a number of outcomes for medical inpatients with psychiatric disorders. Additional well-designed studies of IMCs are required to further evaluate the effect of IMCs on patient outcomes and costs of care.