Qualitative Study of Assertive Community Treatment

Gary Cuddeback, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H., Principal Investigator

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati spent $2.3 million over the last several years to develop 10 Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams throughout Ohio and Indiana. ACT is a multi-disciplinary, team-based service delivery approach with a small (1:10) staff-patient ratio, 24/7 hour availability, aggressive outreach, and other services involving medication management, employment, and psychosocial interventions that over the past 30 years has been proven to be effective if fully implemented. This study is being done in response to a recommendation made in the feasibility study conducted at the Sheps Center last year to determine if sufficient data and agency cooperation existed for a full-scale evaluation of the 10 ACT teams. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with the staff and consumers of the Foundation’s 10 ACT teams will be conducted to gain insight into the intra- and interagency systemic changes that occurred as a result of implementing ACT. The insights gained from this study will provide valuable information for communities struggling to incorporate evidence-based practices into their routine care for persons with mental illness and can help address an important challenge issued to mental health authorities and mental health services researchers by the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.