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BACKGROUND: It is perceived that North American home treatment studies reveal greater success in reducing days in hospital than do European studies. There are difficulties in extrapolating findings internationally. AIMS: We aimed to determine whether North American studies find greater reductions in days in hospital and whether experimental service patients in North American studies spend less time in hospital. METHOD: The results of a systematic review were analysed with respect to study location. Service components ascertained through follow-up were utilised to interpret the meta-analyses conducted. RESULTS: Most of the 91 studies found were from the USA and UK. North American studies found a difference of one hospital day (per patient per month) more than European studies but there was no difference in experimental data between the two locations. CONCLUSIONS: North American studies demonstrate greater differences in days in hospital but patients in their experimental services seem to spend no fewer days in hospital, implying a disparity in control services.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





375 - 382


Community Mental Health Services, Follow-Up Studies, Home Care Services, Hospitals, Psychiatric, Humans, Length of Stay, Mental Disorders, United Kingdom, United States