Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Although the model of assertive outreach has been widely adopted, it is unclear who receives assertive outreach in practice and what outcomes can be expected under routine conditions. AIMS: To assess patient characteristics and outcome in routine assertive outreach services in the UK. METHOD: Patients (n=580) were sampled from 24 assertive outreach teams in London. Outcomes--days spent in hospital and compulsory hospitalisation--were assessed over a 9-month follow-up. RESULTS: The 6-month prevalence rate of substance misuse was 29%, and 35% of patients had been physically violent in the past 2 years. During follow-up, 39% were hospitalised and 25% compulsorily admitted. Outcome varied significantly between team types. These differences did not hold true when baseline differences in patient characteristics were controlled for. CONCLUSIONS: Routine assertive outreach serves a wide range of patients with significant rates of substance misuse and violent behaviour. Over a 9-month period an average of 25% of assertive outreach patients can be expected to be hospitalised compulsorily. Differences in outcome between team types can be explained by differences in patient characteristics.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





148 - 154


Adult, Bipolar Disorder, Community Mental Health Services, Community-Institutional Relations, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, London, Male, Mental Disorders, Patient Care Team, Prevalence, Schizophrenia, Statistics as Topic, Substance-Related Disorders, Treatment Outcome, Violence