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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Michela GATTA 1, 2, Laura BALOTTIN 3, Lara DEL COL 1, Paolo C. TESTA 1, Andrea SPOTO 4, Pier A. BATTISTELLA 1
1 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, ULSS 16, Padua, Italy; 2 Department of Children’s and Women’s Health, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 3 Section of Applied Psychology, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education, and Applied Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 4 Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
BACKGROUND: The short- and long-term effects of treatments provided at day centers for adolescents with psychiatric disorders are still a debated issue in the scientific literature. The study aims to investigate changes in young patients’ psycho-behavioral functioning after their discharge from a day center for adolescent psychiatric disorders. The center provides integrated multi-professional support for the rehabilitation of adolescents with severe psychiatric problems (affective disorders, psychoses, behavioral and personality disorders), treating them in their family setting rather than as inpatients.
METHODS: A semi-structured interview on their present life, the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale and the Youth Self-Report were administered to adolescents, years after their discharge from the day center.
RESULTS: Patients’ psycho-behavioral functioning improved significantly and improvement persisted overtime. Noteworthy, not only did patients with internalizing symptoms maintain the improvements achieved, they also continued to improve after leaving the center. Moreover, one of the most significant factors influencing outcome was the quality of the alliance established with the parents. Nevertheless the 60% of the patients were still receiving therapy at the time of the follow-up assessment.
CONCLUSIONS: Since adolescent psychiatric disorders often persist into adulthood, it is needed to build multi-professional intervention to accompany adolescent patients and their families throughout the passage into adulthood and autonomy. Assessing the outcome of interventions may help improve the quality of care and ultimately the resolution of adolescent psychiatric disorders.