Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 531–541 | Cite as

The Long-term Outcomes and Unmet Needs of a Cohort of Former Long-Stay Patients in Melbourne, Australia

  • Prem Chopra
  • Helen E. Herrman
Original Paper


Former long-stay patients with psychotic disorders have significant unmet needs. This study assessed the long-term outcomes for the original cohort of 18 residents of the Footbridge Community Care Unit (CCU), a residential psychiatric rehabilitation unit at St Vincent’s Mental Health Melbourne. A review of case records and interviews were conducted for each member of the cohort 8 years after admission to the CCU. Members of the cohort were living in a variety of settings after discharge from the CCU. Despite significant gains during the period of residential rehabilitation in the CCU after hospital discharge, by the time of follow-up individuals were in general leading restricted lives characterised by a lack of stable residential and social supports. Most reported positively on the support provided in the CCU although later experiences of moving repeatedly from one setting to another were adverse. Five key unmet needs were identified: promotion of independence; stability in accommodation; stability in social networks; consistency of care; and addressing the theme of loss. A longitudinal perspective in management that focuses on stability in residential care is required for long-stay patients.


Deinstitutionalisation Long-Stay patients Psychiatric rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for International Mental Health, School of Population HealthThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, St. Vincent’s Health Melbourne, Level 2, Bolte WingSt. Vincent’s HospitalFitzroyAustralia
  3. 3.ORYGEN Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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