• Vol. 36 No. 6, 409–412
  • 15 June 2007

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) in Singapore: A 1-year Follow-up Study



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Introduction: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) provides community-based treatment to patients with severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, so that they may continue to live and function in the community as they receive psychiatric care. This study aimed to examine the effects of ACT on the outcome of patients over a 1-year period in an Asian population. Materials and Methods: This naturalistic and retrospective cohort study examined the effects of ACT on 100 patients who had completed 1 year of ACT. Parameters used to measure primary outcome were i) number of admissions (NOA) and ii) total length of stay (LOS) in days. Secondary outcome compared the employment status of patients before and after ACT. Paired sample analyses were performed using SPSS. Results and Discussion: The mean reduction in NOA 1 year post-ACT was 57.1%. The mean reduction in LOS 1 year post-ACT was 61.9%. The median reduction for NOA and LOS were both statistically significant (P <0.01). Thirty-seven patients were employed compared to 6 before the programme, a statistically significant effect on employment (odds ratio 9.69, P <0.01). Conclusions: ACT appears effective in reducing the frequency and duration of admissions for patients in Singapore. The employment status of patients also showed improvement over the course of study.

Major mental illnesses can be persistent and debilitating, significantly impairing patients’ social, occupational and daily functions. The Global Burden of Disease lists schizophrenia among the top 10 contributors to health burden and disability around the world.1

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