Implementing Assertive Community Treatment Programs in Rural Settings
- Cite this article as:
- McDonel, E.C., Bond, G.R., Salyers, M. et al. Adm Policy Ment Health (1997) 25: 153. doi:10.1023/A:1022286921362
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The authors present a controlled evaluation of a rural adaptation of the assertive community treatment (ACT) model for clients with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Four community mental health settings adopted an ACT model, while a fifth site blended ACT principles with those of the Rhinelander model, another approach to case management for persons with SPMI. A broad array of client and system outcomes were evaluated at 6, 12, and 24 months into the intervention. Twelve-month findings alerted us to potential problems in implementing the treatment model in study year 1; the implementation was qualitatively evaluated and weaknesses were addressed at the beginning of the second treatment year. Small, positive findings at 24 months suggested that the mid-study course correction may have had an impact. We present these findings along with descriptive data on the challenges of implementing complex services models. We give particular attention to describing implementation barriers to mental health services provision that are uniquely rural.