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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Nov;181:375-82.

International differences in home treatment for mental health problems. Results of a systematic review.

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  • 1St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.



It is perceived that North American home treatment studies reveal greater success in reducing days in hospital than do European studies. There are difficulties in extrapolating findings internationally.


We aimed to determine whether North American studies find greater reductions in days in hospital and whether experimental service patients in North American studies spend less time in hospital.


The results of a systematic review were analysed with respect to study location. Service components ascertained through follow-up were utilised to interpret the meta-analyses conducted.


Most of the 91 studies found were from the USA and UK. North American studies found a difference of one hospital day (per patient per month) more than European studies but there was no difference in experimental data between the two locations.


North American studies demonstrate greater differences in days in hospital but patients in their experimental services seem to spend no fewer days in hospital, implying a disparity in control services.

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