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Australas Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;21(5):466-71. doi: 10.1177/1039856213497525. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Demonstrating the impact and model of care of a Statewide psychiatric intensive care service.

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  • 1Services Research Officer, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, The Alfred and Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



To characterise patients and their outcomes following referral to a Statewide psychiatric intensive care service.


This study conducted a medical audit for patients referred to the Statewide service during the first four years of operation (2007-2011). Demographics and the presence of alcohol and other drug and forensic comorbidities were documented along with the treatment received prior to and during admission.


In the first four years of operation, 58 referrals were received, 41 resulting in admission and seven in secondary consultation delivered to the referring inpatient psychiatry service. Admitted patients were most commonly experiencing a psychotic illness, had high levels of substance comorbidities and antisocial personality traits, required lengthy admissions (mean days = 41.5), and were in most cases successfully discharged back to the referring inpatient psychiatry service or the community. Significant reductions in clinician-rated difficulties measured via the Health of the Nations Outcome Scale were found at discharge, and despite the significant presenting aggression risk, few attempted or actual assaults occurred.


Improved outcomes were achieved with patients deemed unsafe for psychiatric care in high dependency units in other Victorian acute mental health services through management by an acute service that has developed special expertise in this area.


aggression; behavioural management plans; multidisciplinary intervention; pharmacological treatment; psychiatric intensive care unit

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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