To assess the impact on psychiatric in-patient bed use of a new personality disorder service that uses two psychoanalytical models: mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) and the service user network (SUN). The number of psychiatric bed days used by patients attending each of the three arms of the service model (SUN, 3-day MBT, 2-day MBT) was collated using the electronic patient records system. Bed use in the 6 months and 12 months before each patient started treatment was compared with bed use in the same periods after starting treatment.
Overall, statistical analysis revealed bed use to be significantly reduced by 6 months of treatment, and the reduction continued to prove significant at 12 months. Comparison between subgroups found no significant difference in bed use between patients attending the MBT programme and patients attending the SUN project at 6 months, but patients on the 3-day MBT programme exhibited a significantly greater reduction in bed use at 6 months compared with patients on the 2-day MBT programme.
Intervention had a statistically significant effect overall on reducing bed use, which we suggest is linked to an improvement in patients' functioning, and is maintained at 6 months and 12 months of treatment. The lacking difference between the SUN and MBT components of the model raises questions regarding the best allocation of resources and the longer-term effects on bed use, to be answered by further study.
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