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Office of Mental Health

Kendra's Law: Final Report on the Status of Assisted Outpatient Treatment
Opinions of AOT Recipients Concerning Court-ordered Treatment

This final set of findings are preliminary results from face-to-face interviews of AOT recipients conducted by researchers at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI)/Columbia University as part of an ongoing study comparing community outcomes for AOT recipients to those experienced by a comparison group of non-AOT outpatient service recipients. The NYSPI/Columbia study is focused on a sample of AOT recipients (n=76 to date) receiving court-ordered treatment in New York City (Bronx and Queens). Through face-to-face interviews, researchers assess recipients' recent service histories, opinions about AOT, strength of the working alliance between recipient and AOT case manager, and other factors relevant to AOT including perceived coercion and stigma, perceived efficacy of services received through AOT, and quality of life. Interviews are being repeated at three, six, nine and 12 month intervals to assess changes over time. (OMH anticipates that final results from this study will be available in 2006.)

Concerning the experience of being court-ordered into treatment, about half of the AOT recipients interviewed reported feeling angry (54%) or embarrassed (53%) by the experience. However, 62% of AOT recipients also reported that, all things considered, being court-ordered into treatment has been a good thing for them. Concerning the emphasis in AOT on the importance of remaining engaged in needed services over time, the majority of AOT recipients interviewed reported that the pressures or things people have done to get them to stay in treatment helped them to get and stay well (81%), gain control over their lives (75%), and made them more likely to keep appointments and take medication (90%). Concerning the working alliance between AOT recipients and their case managers, the majority reported that they were confident in their case manager's ability to help them (87%) and that they and their case managers agree on what is important for them to work on (88%).

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