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An Advocate’s Observations on Research Concerning Assisted Outpatient Treatment



DOI 10.1007/s11920-013-0435-7 INVITED COMMENTARY Brian Stettin Published online: 16 February 2014 # Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014 Introduction "Assisted outpatient treatment" (AOT) is a practice designed to improve treatment outcomes for people with severe mental illness whose difficulties adhering to voluntary outpatient care have left them trapped in the revolving door of the mental health and criminal justice systems. Under AOT, an individual found to meet strict eligibility criteria is placed under court order to comply with an approved treatment plan as a condition of remaining in the community and receives intensive case management and monitoring. A patient's substantial violation of the court order typically leads to short-term evaluative detention to determine whether hospital commitment has become necessary. In my work for the Treatment Advocacy Center promoting AOT across the United States, I am often puzzled by the wide gulf between the perceptions of AOT among intelligent and dedicated mental health professionals and the findings of researchers on the effectiveness of AOT in improving treatment outcomes for the most challenging subset of psychiatric patients. The research is good enough to lead one to expect a near-universal embrace of AOT within the mental health field, and yet this



Current Psychiatry ReportsSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 1, 2014

DOI: 10.1007/s11920-013-0435-7

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