Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 213–223 | Cite as

Improving Mental Health Assessment and Service Planning Practices for Older Adults: A Controlled Comparison Study

  • Stephen J. Bartels
  • Keith M. Miles
  • Aricca D. Van Citters
  • Brent P. Forester
  • Michael J. Cohen
  • Haiyi Xie


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a guided assessment and service planning intervention in improving the clinical practices of non-physician community mental health providers caring for older persons. Thirteen agencies, 44 clinicians, and 100 consumers (age 60 and older) were assigned to the intervention or a comparison group receiving usual care. Baseline interviews of clinicians and chart reviews found that clinicians' routine evaluation and service planning practices showed inattention to key domains such as substance abuse (over 33% of clinicians), suicide risk and dangerous behaviors (over 40%), and caregiver burden and risk of neglect or abuse (over 75%). At 1-year follow-up, the intervention was associated with increased rates of routine assessments of major symptom, functioning, and support domains. There was also significant improvement in the specificity of treatment planning within the intervention condition. Implications for quality improvement are discussed.


mental health assessment service planning geriatric quality improvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Bartels
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Keith M. Miles
    • 3
    • 4
  • Aricca D. Van Citters
    • 1
    • 4
  • Brent P. Forester
    • 5
  • Michael J. Cohen
    • 6
  • Haiyi Xie
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research CenterNew HampshireLebanon
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryDartmouth Medical SchoolNew HampshireLebanon
  3. 3.NH-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research CenterConcord
  4. 4.Department of Community and Family MedicineDartmouth Medical SchoolNew HampshireLebanon
  5. 5.Department of Geriatric PsychiatryMcLean HospitalBelmont
  6. 6.National Alliance for the Mentally Ill New HampshireConcord
  7. 7.New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research CenterNew HampshireLebanon

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