Evidence-Based Social Work Interventions to Improve Client Attendance in Rural Mental Health: An Overview of Literature

Victor G. Aeby*, Lei Xu, Wenhua Lu, Tracy Carpenter-Aeby, Tia Edwards and Jacqueline Vaughn-Heath

Evidence-Based Social Work Interventions to Improve Client Attendance in Rural Mental Health: An Overview of Literature.

Evidence-based interventions are particularly important to increasing attendance in rural mental health. Social workers are an important link between the patient getting adequate mental health services and attending services. Social workers development of evidence-based interventions will assist in breaking down the challenges associated with barrier to no-shows. The results of this study highlight the importance of evidence-based social worker interventions.

Client non-attendance has been an issue throughout mental health services for many decades. It is a difficult problem to solve due to the individuality of each person and influencing factors within each life. Some researchers have narrowed their studies to specific populations but still cannot eradicate no-show behaviors.

Clients non-attendance of scheduled appointments is an issue among all services within mental health. Missing scheduled appointments can create an array of problems not only for the client but for the facilities as well. When clients miss their appointments, it can “interrupt the patient’s treatment which may have serious adverse medical and/or psychological consequences, and they disrupt efficient utilization of staff time”.

Even more important is that children attend the necessary mental health appointments to prevent their current illness from developing into a more severe, treatment-resistant mental illness later in life. Untreated mental illness in children has also been linked with “school failure, teenage childbearing, unstable employment, early marriage, marital instability, and violence”.

While many researchers have focused their studies on one particular population such as HIV positive or African American lower class, few have researched the barriers and interventions specific to rural communities. Before discussing characteristics of social work in rural areas, it is important to define urban and rural areas first. The research designs used in the studies were quantitative and qualitative.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2015; 1(2): 39-45. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-1-106