Use of community treatment orders and their outcomes: an observational study

scott weich, craig duncan, liz twigg, Orla McBride, helen parsons, Graham Moon , Alastair Canaway , Jason Madan, David Crepaz-Keay , Patrick Keown, Swaran Singh, Kamaldeep Bhui

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Abstract

Background
Community treatment orders are widely used in England. It is unclear whether their use varies between patients, places and services, or if they are associated with better patient outcomes.
Objectives
To examine variation in the use of community treatment orders and their associations with patient outcomes and health-care costs.
Design
Secondary analysis using multilevel statistical modelling.
Setting
England, including 61 NHS mental health provider trusts.
Participants
A total of 69,832 patients eligible to be subject to a community treatment order.
Main outcome measures
Use of community treatment orders and time subject to community treatment order; re-admission and total time in hospital after the start of a community treatment order; and mortality.
Data sources
The primary data source was the Mental Health Services Data Set. Mental Health Services Data Set data were linked to mortality records and local area deprivation statistics for England.
Results
There was significant variation in community treatment order use between patients, provider trusts and local areas. Most variation arose from substantially different practice in a small number of providers. Community treatment order patients were more likely to be in the ‘severe psychotic’ care cluster grouping, male or black. There was also significant variation between service providers and local areas in the time patients remained on community treatment orders. Although slightly more community treatment order patients were re-admitted than non-community treatment order patients during the study period (36.9% vs. 35.6%), there was no significant difference in time to first re-admission (around 32 months on average for both). There was some evidence that the rate of re-admission differed between community treatment order and non-community treatment order patients according to care cluster grouping. Community treatment order patients spent 7.5 days longer, on average, in admission than non-community treatment order patients over the study period. This difference remained when other patient and local area characteristics were taken into account. There was no evidence of significant variation between service providers in the effect of community treatment order on total time in admission. Community treatment order patients were less likely to die than non-community treatment order patients, after taking account of other patient and local area characteristics (odds ratio 0.69, 95% credible interval 0.60 to 0.81).
Limitations
Confounding by indication and potential bias arising from missing data within the Mental Health Services Data Set. Data quality issues precluded inclusion of patients who were subject to community treatment orders more than once.
Conclusions
Community treatment order use varied between patients, provider trusts and local areas. Community treatment order use was not associated with shorter time to re-admission or reduced time in hospital to a statistically significant degree. We found no evidence that the effectiveness of community treatment orders varied to a significant degree between provider trusts, nor that community treatment orders were associated with reduced mental health treatment costs. Our findings support the view that community treatment orders in England are not effective in reducing future admissions or time spent in hospital. We provide preliminary evidence of an association between community treatment order use and reduced rate of death.
Future work
These findings need to be replicated among patients who are subject to community treatment order more than once. The association between community treatment order use and reduced mortality requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Institute for Health Research
Number of pages104
Volume8
Edition9
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameHealth Services and Delivery Research
PublisherNational Institute for Health Research
ISSN (Print)2050-4349

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    weich, S., duncan, C., twigg, L., McBride, O., parsons, H., Moon , G., Canaway , A., Madan, J., Crepaz-Keay , D., Keown, P., Singh, S., & Bhui , K. (2020). Use of community treatment orders and their outcomes: an observational study. (9 ed.) (Health Services and Delivery Research). National Institute for Health Research. https://doi.org/10.3310/hsdr08090