Lessons Learned from Implementing a Pilot RCT of Transitional Care Model for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
Phyllis Solomon, Nancy P. Hanrahan, Matthew Hurford, Marissa DeCesaris, LaKeetra Josey
Archives of Psychiatric Nursing
27 March 2014
We adapted an evidence-based transitional care model for older adults being released from acute care hospitals for patients with serious mental illness and medical co-morbidities being discharged from two psychiatric units of an acute care hospital (TCare) and evaluated implementation issues. An advisory group (AG) of community stakeholders assessed barriers and facilitators of a 90-day T-Care intervention delivered by a psychiatric nurse practitioner (NP) in the context of conducting a pilot randomized controlled trial. Minutes of AG and case narratives by NP of 20 intervention participants were content analyzed. Patients with immediate and pressing physical health problems were most receptive and actively utilized the service. Provider barriers consisted of communication and privacy issues making it difficult to contact patients in mental health facilities. In contrast, the NP was accepted and valued in the physical health arena. Psychosocial needs and relationship issues were demanding, and we recommend a team approach for TCare with the addition of a social worker, peer provider, and consulting psychiatrist for severely mentally ill patients being released from an acute physical health hospitalization.