Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Can J Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;50(13):845-50.

Difficult-to-engage patients: a specific target for time-limited assertive outreach in a Swiss setting.

Author information

  • 1Unité de Psychiatrie Communautaire, Département de Psychiatrie du CHUV, Faculté de Biologie et Médecine, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.



Assertive community treatment (ACT) failed to develop in Europe, and its efficacy is debated. In Lausanne, Switzerland, ACT focuses on difficult-to-engage patients and aims to facilitate linkage with outpatient care through time-limited interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the applicability and efficiency of time-limited ACT.


We retrospectively assessed social, clinical, and functional outcomes and motivation for treatment in 75 consecutively seen subjects treated between 2000 and 2002.


With 70% of the interventions lasting less than 6 months, we observed significant improvement in most clinical and social problems, in collaboration, in motivation for treatment, and in social network support, despite high baseline levels of clinical and social problems. The number of hospitalizations decreased significantly.


Time-limited ACT is a useful treatment for difficult-to-engage patients with severe clinical and social problems, and it facilitates linkage to care. This narrower target for ACT may facilitate its implementation in Europe.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center