Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Long-Term Outcomes of an Intensive Outpatient Program for Missionaries and Clergy

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Long-Term Outcomes of an Intensive Outpatient Program for Missionaries and Clergy

Article excerpt

Building upon an earlier longitudinal outcome study of missionaries and clergy who participated in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) (Rosik, Summerford, & Tafoya, 2009), the present study significantly extended the follow-up period in order to determine the durability of symptomatic improvement. Results of repeated-measures ANCOVAs (,N - 29) confirmed that most participants continued to experience a reduction in their distress up to three years after treatment. However, participants who were in treatment for less than six weeks appeared to lose over half of their gains at follow-up while those receiving services for six weeks or more displayed additional improvement. Nearly the entire sample pursued some additional health care services after IOP treatment. Participants remained satisfied and appreciative of their treatment at follow-up, but had mixed opinions about the role their sending organizations had played in their subsequent care. Continued support of the sending organization and the ongoing motivation of husbands to implement changes were frequently identified by participants as critical elements during the follow-up period.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) have shown great promise in the alleviation of acute psychiatric distress (Wise, 2005). The standard definition of IOP is a program offering three to four hours of structured programming three to four times a week (American Association of Community Psychiatrists, 1998; Wise, 2003). The IOP modality of treatment has been developed to fill a void in the continuum of care between weekly outpatient psychotherapy on the one hand and partial or full inpatient hospitalization on the other hand. The advantages which gave rise to the IOP model include cost efficiency over hospitalization, increased patient accessibility, and the ongoing application of what is being learned in treatment (Veach, Remley, Kippers, & Sorg, 2000; Wise, 2003). Subsequent research has indicated that IOP services can be just as effective as inpatient treatment, even when the presenting symptoms are more severe (Wise, 2003).

Typically, the literature pertaining to IOPs has focused on their use in the treatment of various substance abuse populations, which may have limited applicability to patients with other psychiatric or relational distress. A few studies have found IOP treatment to be beneficial in care of borderline personality disorder (Gratz, Lacroce, & Gunderson, 2006; Smith, Ruiz-Sancho, & Gunderson, 2001). Another limitation in the literature has been that the great majority of IOP studies provide only a modest (e.g., three month) follow-up assessment, if they include follow-up at all. Moreover, studies of long-term follow-up past six months are rare and generally limited to substance abuse populations (Bottlender & Soyka, 2005). There is a clear need in the literature for long-term outcome studies of IOPs that treat a more diverse variety of clinical conditions.

Recently, Rosik, Summerford, and Tafoya (2009) reported on their initial findings of a longitudinal study examining treatment outcomes among missionaries and clergy who participated in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) at the Link Care Center in Fresno, California. Analyses identified a significant treatment response both at post-treatment and at a three month followup. In order to address the aforementioned gap in the IOP literature as well as gain insight into longer term outcomes of these religious professionals, I sent a second wave of follow-up assessments to accessible participants of the initial study. The intent of this additional follow-up was to not only determine if participants maintained treatment gains up to three years later, but also to obtain information on participants subsequent use of health care services. In addition, I inquired as to their current impressions about their treatment experience and, if they were missionaries, the post-treatment helpfulness of and satisfaction with their mission organization. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.