Evaluation of an inpatient programme aimed at preparing "hard-to-place" chronically mentally ill for the community : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
With the continued policy of deinstitutionalising psychiatric inpatients, Lake Alice Hospital developed the Intensive Learning Centre (ILC) in an attempt to prepare their "hard-to-place" clients for successful community placement. The present research evaluated the ILC programme's ability to meet its' stated objectives, and compared the 15 ILC clients to a group of 26 clients who had been transferred to community placements 18 months earlier. Informant driven measures of adaptive and maladaptive behaviours were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the ILC programme, and to compare both subject groups on levels of functioning. The findings indicated a short-term (5 month) improvement in the general functioning levels of the ILC clients, but this improvement was not sustained at the 10 month follow-up. The ILC and community groups displayed similar levels in areas such as independent functioning, economic and domestic activity, violence, self-injury and verbal aggression. The community group demonstrated higher levels of functioning in areas such as social activity, self-care, community skills, antisocial behaviour, withdrawal and inappropriate behaviours. The implications and recommendations of these findings for the staff, clients and treatment programme are discussed.