This study compared treatment of schizophrenia in two types of organization: a national, government-operated health care system, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and in hospitals and clinics operated by state and local providers. Between 1994 and 1996, 746 male patients with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia residing in two states in the Southeast and Midwest were surveyed: 192 VA inpatients were compared with 96 non-VA inpatients, and 274 VA outpatients were compared with 184 non-VA outpatients. VA patients were older and had higher incomes than non-VA patients but did not differ significantly on measures of clinical status, satisfaction with providers, or community adjustment. VA outpatients were more likely to have been hospitalized during the previous year than non-VA outpatients and were less likely to have received services from a day hospital, from a case manager or social worker, or to have received crisis intervention services. On 5 of 26 Schizophrenic Patient Outcomes Research Team treatment recommendations, a smaller proportion of VA than non-VA patients adhered to standards. Four of these reflected reduced access among VA patients to psychosocial services such as work therapy, job training, or case management services. Cross-sectional surveys can be used to compare quality of care across service systems. VA care was associated with similar satisfaction and clinical outcomes but greater reliance on hospital treatment and less use of community-based psychosocial services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health