This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Many patients with mental illness seek treatment in the emergency department (ED). Professional care managers help patients with mental illness use outpatient services and achieve their long-term recovery plans. They can also help patients solve problems that keep them from getting outpatient care.
Peer care managers, who have a history of mental illness but are in recovery, may be able to help patients use these services as well.
In this study, the research team is comparing how often patients use mental health care outside the ED when working with peer versus professional care managers.
Who can this research help?
Findings from this study may help hospital administrators decide whether peer care managers can offer the same help for patients with mental illness as professional care managers do.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 1,000 adults who have received care for a mental health disorder in one of eight EDs in South Carolina. Each of the EDs has one professional care manager who is a social worker or a nurse and one peer care manager. The team is assigning patients by chance to work with either the professional or the peer care manager.
The research team is providing extra training for both peer and professional care managers to help patients identify barriers to getting outpatient care, learn their treatment options, and use outpatient services. Care managers meet with each patient during the patient’s ED visit. They then meet regularly with each patient after discharge from the ED to help patients use outpatient services.
The research team is comparing how often patients with each type of care manager get outpatient care after they leave the ED. The team is interviewing patients at the beginning of the study and 6 and 12 months after leaving the ED to follow up on patients’
- physical and mental health
- alcohol and drug use
- experiences with the recovery process
- barriers to getting care
Patients, healthcare providers, and South Carolina’s mental health and Medicaid agencies help plan and conduct the study.
Research methods at a glance
- No information provided by awardee.
Other Stakeholder Partners
- Meera Narasimhan, University of South Carolina
- John Magill, South Carolina Department of Mental Health