Date of Conferral







Stephen Lifrak


Schizophrenia has been a public mental health barometer for many decades, and health professionals and government agencies continue to look for treatment options that produce the best outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of assertive community treatment (ACT) and supportive case management (SCM) outpatient treatment interventions as an alternative to inpatient psychiatric hospital care. Social cognitive learning theory and choice theory provided the framework for the study. Archival data from inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations for 153 adult men and women with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia who received ACT or SCM services were analyzed using regression analysis and a correlation. Predictor variables were gender, age cohort, and treatment model, and criterion variables were the number and duration of inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations for patients with schizophrenic diagnoses. Results showed some correlation between the number of admissions and length of stay for both ACT and SCM interventions. The first admission accounted for the longest length of stay, with a significant decline by the second admission, indicating that many participants received the appropriate and necessary treatment to address any changes or increase in symptoms during the first admission. Findings demonstrated the value of outpatient treatment interventions such as ACT and SCM for men and women in reducing the number and length of inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. This translates into cost reductions for federal and state mental health care spending.