Care of chronic neurotic out-patients by community psychiatric nurses. A long-term follow-up study.
Burns T., Paykel ES., Ezekiel A., Lemon S.
Ninety-nine neurotic patients from a controlled trial of CPN v. psychiatric out-patient aftercare were followed up seven years later. Of the 92 survivors, 76 were successfully interviewed. Few differences were found between the groups. Chronic mild symptoms and moderate social disability persisted, and tended to worsen a little. Treatment patterns persisted for one to two years beyond the original study; the CPN group had more CPN contacts, fewer psychiatric out-patient contacts and less psychiatric care. Thereafter, more out-patients were discharged from psychiatric care and care patterns for the two groups became similar. Out-patients attended more non-psychiatric out-patient clinics than the CPN group, but it is possible that this reflected pre-existing differences. About a third of patients remained in contact with the psychiatric service during follow-up.