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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-29

Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Patients Attending a Victorian Metropolitan Crisis Intervention Team

1 North West Area Mental Health Service, Coburg, VIC 3058, Melbourne, Australia
2 Austin Health, Heidelberg, VIC 3084. Honorary Clinical Fellow, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
3 North West Area Mental Health Service, Coburg, VIC 3058. Associate Professor, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mukund G Rao
North West Area Mental Health Service, 35 Johnstone Street, Broadmeadows VIC 3047
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_66_20

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Background: Little is known about the nature of service users who seek crisis community care in recent times in the Australian context. Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe the sociodemographic, clinical, and service provision characteristics and 12-month clinical outcomes of patients in a metropolitan crisis intervention team. Methods: Patients who were registered during the study period (May 1, 2015–October 30, 2015) for crisis intervention from a metropolitan community mental health team were included for this retrospective cohort study. The type of psychosocial stressor triggering the crisis was assessed by the social readjustment scale. Results: A situational crisis or adjustment disorder (26.6%) was the most common primary diagnosis, followed by an affective disorder. Deliberate self-harm behavior was the leading risk behavior (18.1%). Major injury or illness to self (16%) was the main psychosocial stressor associated with crisis presentation. The primary health sector was the main source of referral and discharge destination. Nearly 40% of patients were re-referred within a 12-month period since index contact. The characteristics of re-referred patients were men, living with a housemate or other family, triage category C, diagnosis of a mood disorder, needing medication supervision, and discharged to inpatient treatment during the index episode of care. Conclusions: A continuous and collaborative model of care between the primary health sector and community mental health services might be more beneficial in the early identification and management of the acute crisis in a subgroup of patients. A diverse range of skills are needed for clinicians working in the crisis intervention service in the current times.

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