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Supported discharge service versus inpatient care evaluation (SITE): a randomised controlled trial comparing effectiveness of an intensive community care service versus inpatient treatment as usual for adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders: self-harm, functional impairment, and educational and clinical outcomes

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Dennis Ougrin, Richard Corrigall, Daniel Stahl, Jason Poole, Toby Zundel, Mandy Wait, Victoria Slater, Paula Reavey, Sarah Byford, John Ivens, Maarten Crommelin, Daniel Hayes, Kerry Middleton, Paul Young, Eric Taylor

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2020

King's Authors


Clinical guidelines recommend intensive community care service treatment (ICCS) to reduce adolescent psychiatric inpatient care. We have previously reported that the addition of ICCS led to a substantial decrease in hospital use and improved school re-integration. The aim of this study is to undertake a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing an inpatient admission followed by an early discharge supported by ICCS with usual inpatient admission (treatment as usual; TAU). In this paper, we report the impact of ICCS on self-harm and other clinical and educational outcomes. 106 patients aged 12–18 admitted for psychiatric inpatient care were randomised (1:1) to either ICCS or TAU. Six months after randomisation, we compared the two treatment arms on the number and severity of self-harm episodes, the functional impairment, severity of psychiatric symptoms, clinical improvement, reading and mathematical ability, weight, height and the use of psychological therapy and medication. At six-month follow-up, there were no differences between the two groups on most measures. Patients receiving ICCS were significantly less likely to report multiple episodes (five or more) of self-harm (OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.05–0.64). Patients admitted to private inpatient units spent on average 118.4 (95% CI: 28.2–208.6) fewer days in hospitals if they were in the ICCS group compared to TAU. The addition of ICCS to TAU may lower the risk of multiple self-harm and may reduce the duration of inpatient stay, especially in those patients admitted for private care. Early discharge with ICCS appears to be a viable alternative to standard inpatient treatment.

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