, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 149-160

Do Consumers Who Have a Choice of Treatment Have Better Outcomes?

Abstract

This study used a non-equivalent control group design to investigate the effect of consumer choice of treatment on both process and outcome variables. All study participants suffered from severe mental illness, were homeless at baseline, and were enrolled in a modified Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program. Consumers in the choice condition had selected the ACT program from a menu of five treatment programs; clients in the no-choice condition were simply assigned to the ACT program by an intake worker. Results found that consumers in the choice condition visited the ACT staff at their offices more than consumers in the no-choice condition, but there were no significant differences between groups on the other treatment process variables. Although consumers in the choice condition increased their income more than consumers in the no-choice condition, there were no significant differences between groups on the other outcome variables (stable housing, psychotic symptoms, depression, and substance abuse).