Brief, cost-contained, and effective psychiatric treatments benefit patients and public health. This naturalistic pilot study examined the effectiveness of a 2-week, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) oriented partial hospital program.
Study participants were 57 patients with mood, anxiety, and/or personality disorders receiving treatment in a private psychiatric partial hospital (PH) setting. A flexible treatment model was used that adapts evidence-based CBT treatment interventions to the PH context with emphases on psychoeducation and skills training. Participants completed self-report measures at admission and after 1 and 2 weeks, to assess stabilization and functional improvements, with added attention to the acquisition of cognitive and behavioral skills. The data were analyzed using repeated measures analyses of variance and correlation.
Participants reported a decrease in symptoms and negative thought patterns, improved satisfaction with life, and acquisition and use of cognitive and behavioral skills. Skill acquisition was correlated with symptom reduction, reduced negative thought patterns, and improved satisfaction with life.
Results of this pilot study suggest that a 2-week PH program can be effective for a heterogeneous patient population with mood, anxiety, and/or personality disorders. These findings are promising given the prevalence of treatments of such brief duration in private sector PH programs subject to the managed care marketplace. Future studies are planned to test this flexible PH treatment model, with particular attention to the effectiveness of the CBT approach for the treatment of different disorders and to whether effectiveness is sustained at follow-up. Further study should also examine whether skill acquisition is a mechanism of change for symptom reduction and functional improvements.