Proactive and integrated consultation-liaison psychiatry for older medical inpatients: A mixed methods description of training, care provided and clinician experience in the HOME study.
Sharpe M., Toynbee M., van Niekerk M., Solomons L., Owens C., Price A., Yousif M., Palmer A., Clay F., Berk G., Burns J., Hill L., Harris J., Bajorek T., Sirois-Giguere G., Magill N., Aitken P., Dickens C., Walker J.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the practical experience of delivering a proactive and integrated consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatry service model (PICLP). PICLP is designed for older medical inpatients and is explicitly biopsychosocial and discharge-focused. In this paper we report: (a) observations on the training of 15 clinicians (seven senior C-L psychiatrists and eight assisting clinicians) to deliver PICLP; (b) the care they provided to 1359 patients; (c) their experiences of working in this new way. METHOD: A mixed methods observational study using quantitative and qualitative data, collected prospectively over two years as part of The HOME Study (a randomized trial comparing PICLP with usual care). RESULTS: The clinicians were successfully trained to deliver PICLP according to the service manual. They proactively assessed all patients and found that most had multiple biopsychosocial problems impeding their timely discharge from hospital. They integrated with ward teams to provide a range of interventions aimed at addressing these problems. Delivering PICLP took a modest amount of clinical time, and the clinicians experienced it as both clinically valuable and professionally rewarding. CONCLUSION: The experience of delivering PICLP highlights the special role that C-L psychiatry clinicians, working in a proactive and integrated way, can play in medical care.