Update on Assisted Outpatient Treatment
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Purpose of Review
Assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) is an outpatient court-ordered treatment for people with severe mental illness (SMI) whose care needs are often unmet in the community due, in part, to treatment non-adherence. AOT is controversial, and the goal of this review is to provide an update on recent research, the status of AOT in the United States, and future directions for research and implementation.
Several recent studies have demonstrated that it is not just a lack of access to appropriately intensive care that prevents some individuals with SMI from engaging in and benefiting from treatment and that AOT can improve engagement and patient outcomes over and above the provision of care.
The future of AOT in the United States is still somewhat uncertain and will largely depend on the effectiveness and sustainability of the SAMHSA AOT grant programs. Future research efforts should investigate the conditions under which and for whom AOT can be most effective, to help avoid poor outcomes for this vulnerable population.
KeywordsAssisted outpatient treatment Involuntary outpatient commitment Community treatment orders
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Stephanie N. Cripps declares no conflict of interest.
Marvin S. Swartz has received a grant from RTI and personal fees from PRA Inc.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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