Research from the five independent studies
conducted over ten years
on NYS Assisted Outpatient Treatment (Kendra's Law)
|February 2010 Columbia University. Phelan, Sinkewicz, Castille and Link. Effectiveness and Outcomes of Assisted Outpatient Treatment in New York State Psychiatric Services, Vol 61. No 2
- Kendra's Law has lowered risk of violent
behaviors, reduced thoughts about suicide and enhanced capacity to function despite problems with mental illness.
- Patients given mandatory outpatient treatment - who were more violent to begin with - were nevertheless four times less likely than members of the control group to perpetrate serious violence after undergoing treatment.
- Patients who underwent mandatory treatment reported higher social
functioning and slightly less stigma, rebutting claims that mandatory
outpatient care is a threat to self-esteem.
|June 2009 D Swartz, MS, Swanson, JW, Steadman, HJ, Robbins, PC and Monahan J. New York State Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program Evaluation. Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, June, 2009
We find that New York State’s AOT Program improves a range of important outcomes for its recipients, apparently without feared negative consequences to recipients.
- Court orders add value: The increased services available under AOT clearly improve recipient outcomes, however, the AOT court order, itself, and its monitoring do appear to offer additional benefits in improving outcomes.
- Improves likelihood that providers will serve seriously mentally ill: It is also important to recognize that the AOT order exerts a critical effect on service providers stimulating their efforts to prioritize care for AOT recipients.
- Improves service engagement: After 12 months or more on AOT, service engagement increased such that AOT recipients were judged to be more engaged than voluntary patients. This suggests that after 12 months or more, when combined with intensive services, AOT increases service engagement compared to voluntary treatment alone.
- Consumers Approve: Despite being under a court order to participate in treatment, current AOT recipients feel neither more positive nor more negative about their treatment experiences than comparable individuals who are not under AOT.
- Racial neutrality: We find no evidence that the AOT Program is disproportionately selecting African Americans for court orders, nor is there evidence of a disproportionate effect on other minority populations. Our interviews with key stakeholders across the state corroborate these findings.
|March 2005 N.Y. State Office of Mental Health “Kendra’s Law: Final Report on the Status of Assisted Outpatient Treatment. “
Danger and Violence Reduced
- 55% fewer recipients engaged in suicide attempts or physical harm to self
- 47% fewer physically harmed others
- 46% fewer damaged or destroyed property
- 43% fewer threatened physical harm to others.
- Overall, the average decrease in harmful behaviors was 44%.
Consumer Outcomes Improved
- 74% fewer participants experienced homelessness
- 77% fewer experienced psychiatric hospitalization
- On average, AOT recipients' length of hospitalization was reduced 56% from pre-AOT levels.
- 83% fewer experienced arrest
- 87% fewer experienced incarceration.
- 49% fewer abused alcohol
- 48% fewer abused drugs
Consumer participation and medication compliance improved
- The number of individuals exhibiting good adherence to medication increased by 51%.
- The number of individuals exhibiting good service engagement increased by 103%.
Consumer Perceptions Were Positive
- 75% reported that AOT helped them gain control over their lives
- 81% said AOT helped them get and stay well
- 90% said AOT made them more likely to keep appointments and take medication.
- 87% of participants interviewed said they were confident in their case manager's ability to help them
- 88% said they and their case manager agreed on what is important for them to work on.
Effect on mental illness system
· Improved Access to Services. AOT has been instrumental in increasing accountability at all system levels regarding delivery of services to high need individuals. Community awareness of AOT has resulted in increased outreach to individuals who had previously presented engagement challenges to mental health service providers.
· Improved Treatment Plan Development, Discharge Planning, and Coordination of Service Planning. Processes and structures developed for AOT have resulted in improvements to treatment plans that more appropriately match the needs of individuals who have had difficulties using mental health services in the past.
· Improved Collaboration between Mental Health and Court Systems. As AOT processes have matured, professionals from the two systems have improved their working relationships, resulting in greater efficiencies, and ultimately, the conservation of judicial, clinical, and administrative resources.
o There is now an organized process to prioritize and monitor individuals with the greatest need;
o AOT ensures greater access to services for individuals whom providers have previously been reluctant to serve;
o Increased collaboration between inpatient and community-based mental health providers.
|1999 NYC Dept. of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services. H. Telson, R. Glickstein, M. Trujillo, Report of the Bellevue Hospital Center Outpatient Commitment Pilot
- Outpatient commitment orders often assist patients in complying with outpatient treatment.
- Outpatient commitment orders are clinically helpful in addressing a number of manifestations of serious and persistent mental illness.
Approximately 20% of patients do, upon initial screening, express hesitation and opposition regarding the prospect of a court order. After discharge with a court order, the majority of patients express no reservations or complaints about the orders.
- Providers of both transitional and permanent housing generally report that outpatient commitment help clients abide by the rules of the residence. More importantly, they often indicate that the court order helps clients to take medication and accept psychiatric services.
- Housing providers state that they value the leverage provided by the order and the access to the hospital it offers.
|1998 Policy Research Associates, Inc. Research study of the New York City involuntary outpatient commitment pilot program.
- Individuals who received court ordered treatment in addition to enhanced community services spent 57 percent less time in psychiatric hospitals than individuals who received only enhanced services.
- Individuals who had both court ordered treatment and enhanced services spent only six weeks in the hospital, compared to 14 weeks for those who did not receive court orders.
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