Evaluation of an integrated care program for schizophrenia: concept and study design
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- Kerkemeyer, L., Mostardt, S., Biermann, J. et al. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci (2015) 265: 155. doi:10.1007/s00406-014-0508-6
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Concept and design of an independent scientific evaluation of different pathways of care for schizophrenia patients in Germany with respect to effectiveness and efficiency are presented. In this prospective, observational study, schizophrenia patients receiving an integrated care treatment, the intervention group (IG), are compared with patients under routine care conditions treated by the same physician (first control group, CG 1). A second control group (CG 2) of patients treated by office-based psychiatrists not participating in the integrated care program will be recruited and their data compared with the two other groups. The total amount of psychiatric hospital days after 12 months is defined as primary outcome parameter. Secondary outcome parameters comprise the frequency of psychiatric inpatient readmissions, severity of schizophrenia symptoms, remission rates and quality of life. Patients undergo assessments at baseline, month 6 and 12 using standardized and experimental questionnaires. Routine data of a regional German social health insurance fund complement information on included patients. Additionally, a cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis will be performed. Until now, 137 psychiatrists included 980 patients in the integrated care project in Lower Saxony, Germany, and 47 psychiatrists (IG and both CGs) are willing to participate in the independent evaluation. For the first time, a prospective observational controlled evaluation study of a countrywide integrated care project planning to recruit 500 schizophrenia patients has started using comprehensive assessments as well as routine data of a social health insurance fund.