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Current need versus treatment history as predictors of use of outpatient psychiatric care
Am J Psychiatry 1987;144:355-357.
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Abstract

The authors conducted a study of treatment utilization and outcome on a sample of 116 psychiatric outpatients at a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. Utilization and outcome measures were obtained at a follow-up interview 18 months after a baseline assessment. Comparisons between patients with high and low rates of utilization revealed negligible relationships between use of services and severity of illness, clinical change, or demographics. However, previous use of VA outpatient and inpatient psychiatric services and VA psychiatric disability rating predicted utilization of psychiatric care during the study. The authors conclude that use of VA outpatient psychiatric care may reflect patients' help-seeking history more than their current clinical need.

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