gms | German Medical Science

1st International Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e. V.

04.05. - 05.05.2018, Berlin

Patient-relevant outcomes for discharge interventions in mental health care

Meeting Abstract

  • presenting/speaker Anna Hegedüs - Careum Research, Zurich
  • Bernd Kozel - University of Bern Psychiatric Services
  • Ian Needham - Psychiatric Hospital Wil
  • Johann Behrens - Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e.V. (DGP). 1st International Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science. Berlin, 04.-05.05.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc18dgpO24

doi: 10.3205/18dgp024, urn:nbn:de:0183-18dgp0245

Published: April 30, 2018

© 2018 Hegedüs et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background and Purpose: The immediate post-discharge phase is critical for psychiatric inpatients due to stressors associated with the re-entry to the community. Various interventions have been developed to support patients´ transition from hospital to home. The selection of appropriate outcomes is crucial when designing clinical trials. For the findings to influence policy and practice, the outcomes need to be relevant and important to key stakeholders including patients. Insufficient attention has been paid to the choice of outcomes measured in clinical trials. This study aims (1) to assess the previous use of outcome measures in trials of discharge interventions and (2) to assess relevant outcomes from the patients’ view.


We conducted a systematic review to assess previous use of outcome measures in clinical trials. Studies included focused on nursing interventions aiming to improve discharge of adults from psychiatric inpatient care to home.
Patient-relevant outcomes are identified through semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients 1-4 months after discharge. Interviews are recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data will be analysed with qualitative content analysis.

Results: The 28 included studies measured 21 different outcomes; most frequently: rehospitalisation, use of outpatient care, quality of life, psychiatric symptoms, social functioning. Results of the qualitative study are not available yet but will be presented at the conference.

Conclusions: The opinions of clinical trial designers and researchers have inevitably influenced the outcomes used in published studies. Adding the perspective of patients can ensure the future use of outcome measures that matter most to service users.