The first 14 months of a consultantled weekly group for in-patients in a medium secure unit are described.
The group's (voluntary) attendance averaged more than 60% of the team's patients over 50 sessions. The weekly attendance increased significantly in the second seven-month period compared with the first (mean numbers of patients (s.d.) 10.4 (0.6) v. 8.1 (0.8)). An eclectic approach, with supportive, educational and interpretive elements, evolved as most suitable for the heterogeneous group of patients involved.
The group represented a safe, efficient and practical way of responding to patients' wishes for consultant contact, information, support and also of observing the individual's mental state and ability to interact in a complex social setting.
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