Investigating the critical elements and psychosocial outcomes of Youth Flexible Assertive Community Treatmen: A study protocol for an observational prospective cohort study

M. Broersen*, D. H. M. Creemers, N. Frieswijk, A. A. Vermulst, H. Kroon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction
When adolescents experience complex psychiatric and social problems, numerous healthcare services usually become involved. In these cases, fragmentation of care services is a risk that often results in both ineffective care and in patients disengaging from care services. To address these issues, Youth Flexible Assertive Community Treatment (Youth Flexible ACT) was developed in the Netherlands. This client-centred service delivery model aims to tackle the fragmented care system by providing psychiatric treatment and support in a flexible and integrated manner. While Youth Flexible ACT is gaining in popularity, the effectiveness of the care model remains largely unexamined.

Methods and analysis
Here, we present an observational prospective cohort (2017–2021) in which a broad range of treatment outcomes will be monitored. The primary aim of the study is to examine change in treatment outcomes over the course of the Flexible ACT care. The secondary aim is to examine the association between (elements of) Youth Flexible ACT model fidelity and treatment outcomes. An estimated total number of 200 adolescents who receive care from one of the 16 participating Youth Flexible ACT teams will be included in the study. Participants will be asked to complete assessments at four time points in 6-month intervals, resulting in a study duration of 18 months. Latent growth curve analysis will be conducted to examine change in psychosocial functioning over time and its relation to model fidelity.

Ethics and dissemination
This study received ethical approval from Trimbos Ethics Committee (201607_75-FACT2). This approval applies for all participating institutions. The results of the study will be reported in accordance with the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology statement. Results will be disseminated via peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations at conferences. In addition, results will be made available for participating sites, funders and researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere035146
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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