The deinstitutionalization of patients with chronic mental illness and shorter hospitalizations of individuals recently diagnosed as mentally ill has resulted in the establishment of an enlarged network of community mental health services. Diminished federal financial support calls for greater efficiency and accountability in the delivery of community-based mental health services. The purpose of this study was to determine whether differences in treatment approach relate to differences in outcome measures of symptom reduction, community tenure, and relapse. In a study of two day treatment centers, one offering twice as much activity therapy as verbal therapy, and the other offering twice as much verbal therapy as activity therapy, it was found that clients receiving primarily activity therapy achieved four times more symptom reduction, equivalent community tenure, and a three and a half times greater relapse rate than clients receiving primarily verbal therapy.

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