Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 613956, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/613956
Research Article

Treatment Engagement of Psychotic Patients with a Mobile Mental Health Unit in Rural Areas in Greece: A Five-Year Study

1Mobile Mental Health Unit of the Prefectures of Ioannina and Thesprotia, Society for the Promotion of Mental Health in Epirus, 45445 Ioannina, Greece
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, 45500 Ioannina, Greece
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, 45500 Ioannina, Greece

Received 12 June 2013; Accepted 12 September 2013

Academic Editor: Luis San

Copyright © 2013 Vaios Peritogiannis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. Treatment of psychotic disorders is impended by high rates of disengagement from mental health services and poor adherence to antipsychotic medication. This study examined the engagement rates of psychotic patients with a community mental health service during a 5-year period. Methods. The Mobile Mental Health Unit of Ioannina and Thesprotia (MMHU I-T) delivers services in remote, rural, mountainous areas using the resources of the primary care system. Clinical and demographic information for patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and related psychoses was obtained from the medical records of our unit. Results. A total of 74 psychotic patients initially engaged in treatment with our unit. In half of cases treatment was home-based. With the exclusion of patients who died or discharged, engagement rates were 67.2%. Statistical analysis was performed for 64 patients, and no differences were found between engaged and disengaged patients regarding clinical and demographic parameters. All engaged patients regularly refilled their antipsychotic prescriptions. Conclusion. Engagement rates in our study were comparable to previous research, involving urban settings and shorter follow-up duration. Community mental health teams may ensure treatment continuation for psychotic patients in deprived, remote areas. This is important for low-income countries, affected by economic crisis, such as Greece.