Discharge planning for psychiatric patients: the effects of a family-patient teaching programme


*3904 Calverton Boulevard J 21, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.


The aims of this study were (1) to develop and implement a family-patient teaching programme for psychiatric inpatients prior to their discharge, and (2) to assess the effect of the teaching programme on patients' functional level and readmission rate. The population of this study consisted of 30 hospitalized psychiatric patients, with schizo-affective disorders. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups – a control group and an experimental group. Families of the experimental group subjects were involved in the patient-family education sessions twice a week. The subjects were followed-up after discharge for a 12-month period. In analysing the data, results indicated that improvement in functional level based on the Global Assessment Scale (GAS) was clearly noticed among subjects of the experimental group. In addition, the findings of this study lend support to other studies which showed that patient-family education is an effective means of reducing the readmission rate among psychiatric patients.