DBT-informed treatment in a partial hospital and intensive outpatient program: the role of step-down care
Few studies to date have examined Partial Hospital (PH) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) programs that utilize a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)-informed model. Preliminary findings suggest that DBT-informed PH programs are effective in reducing clinical symptoms; however, less is known about IOP programs as well as step-down care models. The present study utilized clinically relevant outcome indices and included a heterogeneous clinical sample. Specifically, the present study assessed pre-post data to examine changes in symptoms of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and overall degree of suffering from intake to discharge in DBT-informed PH and IOP programs as well as a step-down condition (PH to IOP). Participants included 205 adults (ages M = 35.28, SD = 12.49). The sample was predominantly female (N = 139, 67.8%) and Caucasian (N = 181, 88.3%). The sample was divided into three distinct groups: PH program patients, PH to IOP program step-down patients, and IOP patients. Findings indicated significant symptom reduction from intake to discharge for all three conditions. There were no significant differences in mean change scores in symptom reduction between the three groups. Severity of depression symptoms at intake predicted program placement. However, type of program did not predict significant changes in symptoms from intake to discharge. This DBT-informed PH and IOP program was successful at reducing various psychiatric symptoms in the sample. Clinicians might consider the advantages of placing patients with higher symptoms of depression into PH programs with the intention of transitioning to step-down care through IOP programs that utilize DBT.
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