Chinman, M., Allende, M., Bailey, P. et al. Psychiatr Q (1999) 70: 137. doi:10.1023/A:1022101419854
The goal of this study was to learn how assertive community treatment (ACT) contributes to the improvement of those with serious mental illness in order to contribute to the growing clinical literature regarding the therapeutic agents of ACT teams. Methods included reviewing the case records of three ACT clients who have improved significantly, as well as interviewing the clients themselves and their clinicians. The results indicated that there was significant agreement among the case records, the clients, and their clinicians in identifying the most useful aspects of assertive community treatment. Primary among these factors were the persistence demonstrated by ACT clinicians in engaging their clients, the trust that clients developed in their clinicians, and as a result, the process by which their clinicians became “guides” to the world of psychiatric and social services that further facilitated their clients' community adjustment. In closing, we consider implications from these findings both for staff development for ACT team members, and for suggestions toward the development of a model of recovery from serious mental illness.