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The COST Action was presented at the XIV Annual Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services in Toronto. Erik Bulten, the scientific coordinator, gave the presentation during the conference of the Special Interest Group on Long-Term Forensic Psychiatric Care. Below, a short contribution from Erik regarding this presentation:
After a short summary of the goals of the action, the backgrounds of long-term forensic psychiatric care and an overview of the work plan, a short update was given on the results of the action until now. The audience (mostly professionals and researcher from Europa, the United States and Canada) underlined in their reactions the importance of the aims of the action. They demonstrated great interest in understanding which patient characteristics are relevant for the issue of not being on track in treatment, the best-practices available and needed to get patients on track again, as well as the issues on quality of life.
One of the conclusions of the discussion was that getting stuck in a specific level of security and therefore not being on track is a troublesome international issue and that international collaboration is mandatory for finding scientifically grounded answers.
Although the conference in Toronto was not specifically focused on long-term forensic care, in a lot of other presentations, posters and keynotes this issue came along. In many countries the length of stay is increasing rapidly, as well Europe as in North America. Quality of care and quality of life are also getting more attention than previous years, sometimes as separate concepts but also as interwoven aspects of treatment. Quality of life is more often mentioned as necessary for effective treatments and not only based on humanistic grounds.
Besides the lecture during the Special Interest Group, the aims of the Action were also presented during the poster sessions. This ISCH1302 Poster and a handout leaflet resulted in interesting discussions, questions asked and solutions given by the visitors, underlining the (international) growing interest in understanding why some patients develop more slowly through the system than could be expected.
The lecture and poster presentation are part of the dissemination plan of this action. In the second, third and fourth year of the action on long-term forensic care such, but also several other dissemination actions will be developed. For more information on the conference in Toronto and the dissemination of the action in general, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.