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Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Jun 11;9:26. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-9-26.

Collaboration between general hospitals and community health services in the care of suicide attempters in Norway: a longitudinal study.

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1
National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway. erlend.mork@medisin.uio.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this paper was to study the collaboration between emergency departments (EDs) in general hospitals and community health services (CHS) in Norway when providing psychosocial care and aftercare to patients treated in EDs following a suicide attempt. We wanted to explore the extent to which quality indicators at the hospital level measured in 1999 and 2006 could predict the presence or absence of a chain of care structure in the CHS in 2006.

METHODS:

Data were collected through structured interviews with informants from 95% of all general hospitals in Norway in 1999 and 2006, and informants from CHS, in a stratified sample of Norwegian municipalities in 2006 (n = 47).

RESULTS:

In 15 of the 47 municipalities (32%), the CHS reported having a chain of care structure in 2006. A discriminant function analysis revealed that the hospitals that in 1999 had: (a) a collaboration agreement with aftercare providers, and (b) written guidelines, including a quality assurance system, were significantly more likely to have municipalities with a chain of care structure in their catchment area in 2006.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hospitals' and municipalities' self-reported provision of aftercare services for patients treated after a suicide attempt was markedly below the recommendations given in national standards. Systems at the hospital level for the management and care of patients admitted after a suicide attempt and systematic collaboration between hospitals and aftercare providers seem to be important elements in the long-term maintenance of continuity of care for suicide attempters.

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