Objective: This paper describes outcome and feasibility findings for a novel, brief intervention to facilitate discharge from lengthy psychiatric hospitalization. The examination of such transitional interventions is important given the suboptimal outcomes for many individuals with severe mental illness at discharge, particularly in the first month. Method: In this study a mixed methods design was used to examine a 6-week peer support worker-provided transitional intervention called the 'Welcome Basket.' The intervention involves contact on hospital wards immediately prior to discharge and 1-1 community contacts along with the provision of a 'welcome basket' of needed/desired items and environmental supports to facilitate greater independence and illness self-management. The study took place in a large Canadian city. Results: Thirty-one individuals with severe mental illness were referred and 23 completed the intervention. Pre-post analysis indicated no change in psychiatric symptoms but improvement in community functioning, community integration, and quality of life. Compared with mean rehospitalization rates for referring inpatient units, significant differences in rates for the study participants were not observed. Qualitative feasibility and process findings were very positive and suggested domains for improvement. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: These findings suggest that this brief transitional intervention is feasible and promising, although further investigation is warranted. Study findings also support the need for transitional interventions to address the service disconnects at the time of discharge for people with severe mental illness.
- peer support
- severe mental illness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health