Using staged care to provide “Right Care First Time” to people with common affective disorders

Vilas Sawrikar, Elizabeth Stewart, Haley LaMonica, Frank Iorfino, Tracey Davenport, Shane Cross, Elizabeth Scott, Sharon Naismith, Loren Mowszowski, Adam Guastella, Ian B. Hickie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

An ongoing need exists for innovation in service delivery to ensure that mental health services deliver high-quality treatment and prevention in the population. This Special Article proposes the adoption of “staged care” as a population health–oriented service delivery model for packages of specialized services delivered largely in ambulatory care settings for individuals with common affective disorders. Staged care integrates measures of clinical need alongside clinical stage and personal choice to select hierarchically arranged service packages for individuals. Packages then vary according to the intensity, duration, and mix of treatment options. This Special Article describes five levels of care in staged care: self- or family-directed monitoring and management, low-intensity services, moderate-intensity services, high-intensity services, and acute and specialist community mental health services. The care environment, treatment team, and length of treatment are also described, and provisional criteria are specified for assigning individuals to different care levels on the basis of current clinical need and clinical stage. Staged care is presented as a model that guides treatment selection and health service delivery to ensure that the high-quality care aims of “right care first time” and prevention are achieved and optimal use of available resources is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-703
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number6
Early online date26 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Using staged care to provide “Right Care First Time” to people with common affective disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this