Spring 2018

Document Type

Poster Session


Occupational Therapy


Susan Noyes PhD, OTR/L


co-occurring, dual-diagnosis, mental illness, transition, substance use disorder, community mental health services, University of Southern Maine, Thinking Matters


Nationally, inpatient psychiatric settings average a 5% readmission rate for their patients, within one month of discharge. A search for articles published within the past 20 years, uncovered critical themes and led to recommendations for practice from 15 articles. Impacting an individual’s readmission are 1) length of stay at the facility, 2) employment opportunities and support after discharge, 3) social and family support, impacting feelings of exclusion/inclusion (stigma), 4) the extent to which the individual embraces the AA recovery philosophy, 5) the specific characteristics of the immediate geographical location of housing, 6) adherence to medical plans, and 7) the availability of continuity of care. Successful discharge is multifaceted for the co-occurring mental health and substance abuse population. Findings suggest that occupational therapy should consider shifting its focus from skill level development to including more adaptation of the social environment and community development to find solutions to exclusion, urban planning, and economic concerns due to unemployment. Needed is more attention to the complexity of managing fragmented health and social systems, which a multidisciplinary team approach of continuity of care could help untangle and as a result reduce barriers to successful transition to community living.

Start Date

4-20-2018 9:00 AM



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