Category: Health Care System / Public Policy

Symposium

Examining the Role of the Inpatient Experience in Predicting Aftercare Intention

Saturday, November 18
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Health Care System | Treatment Integrity / Adherence / Compliance | Diversity
Presentation Type: Symposium

     Although a successful transition to outpatient care following psychiatric hospitalization is critical to reducing risk of rehospitalization, research has consistently found low rates of aftercare engagement. One underexplored area that might explain the low engagement rate is causal illness beliefs, which individuals develop to understand symptoms and cope with challenges. Research in outpatient settings has found that causal illness beliefs (e.g., biological, psychosocial, spiritual) are influenced by culture/context and affect treatment attitudes and service satisfaction. In this study, we investigate the role of causal illness beliefs and other psychological variables related to the inpatient experience (i.e., inpatient satisfaction and inpatient alliance), in aftercare engagement.  
     Individuals who were discharge-ready from inpatient treatment completed self-report measures related to illness perception, inpatient satisfaction, and inpatient alliance. To date, we have recruited 20 participants and expect to have enrolled over 100 participants by late October. The sample is diverse: 50% male and 20% racial/ethnic minority. The average age is 38.6 years (SD=14.0), and most individuals either graduated high school (40%) or started college (40%). They present with a range of psychiatric disorders.
     Preliminary analyses indicate that participants are reporting high levels of aftercare intention (M=14.9, SD=2.8), inpatient satisfaction (M=109, SD=11.4), and inpatient alliance (M=50.8, SD=8.1). Correlational analyses indicate that there is a significant association between inpatient satisfaction and alliance, , r=0.7, p <.001. Of note, psychosocial causal illness beliefs are significantly associated with inpatient satisfaction, r=0.5, p<.05, but biological and spiritual beliefs are not. Our preliminary results suggest that causal illness beliefs do inform consumer satisfaction and are worthy of exploration in treatment. Moreover, inpatient alliance is intimately linked to how satisfied individuals are with care. We will discuss how our knowledge of these interrelationships impacts service delivery and informs future linkage strategies.

Kristen C. Keefe

Clark University

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