Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 398–402

A Randomized Trial: Are Care Navigators Effective in Connecting Patients to Primary Care after Psychiatric Crisis?

  • Kim S. Griswold
  • Gregory G. Homish
  • Patricia A. Pastore
  • Kenneth E. Leonard
Original Paper

Abstract

Persons with serious mental illnesses suffer excess medical morbidity compared to the general population. This RCT aimed to determine whether navigators are effective in helping patients connect to primary care after psychiatric crisis. Adults presenting for emergency care were randomly assigned to a navigator versus usual care. Navigators facilitated access to primary care. Outcomes were connection rates to medical care and the impact of health insurance, hospitalization and mental health care on primary care attendance. After 1 year, the intervention group was statistically more likely to access care, versus controls (62.4 vs. 37.6%, P < .001). Navigators were effective in helping patients connect to primary care after a psychiatric crisis. Improved access to primary care is important given the complex chronic health problems of this vulnerable cohort.

Keywords

Psychiatric crisis Primary care Health care navigation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim S. Griswold
    • 1
  • Gregory G. Homish
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Pastore
    • 1
  • Kenneth E. Leonard
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, Primary Care Research InstituteThe State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior School of Public Health and Health ProfessionsThe State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Research Institute on AddictionsBuffaloUSA

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