Client Outcomes II: Longitudinal Client Data from the Colorado Treatment Outcome Study

The outcomes of a reform of the Denver mental health system, cosponsored by the state and the RWJF, are contrasted with changes in a comparison area of the state. The study examines the structural characteristics of the mental health system, staff attitudes and satisfaction, and client-reported services and outcome. Results indicate that, in Denver, structural changes, the introduction of new services, and an intervening financial crisis increased worker dissatisfaction. Client reports documented parallel changes in the following variables: continuity of care, unmet need for case management services, frequency of symptoms, and satisfaction with services. The reform had no impact, however, on most quality-of-life indicators. The possibly adverse consequences of centralizing the system and the indirect influences of system integration on quality of life are discussed.

Author(s): David L. Shern; Nancy Z. Wilson; Anita Saranga Coen; Diane C. Patrick; Mark Foster; David A. Bartsch; Jean Demmler

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Volume 72, Issue 1 (pages 123–148)
Published in 1994