New international classification improves comparison of Assisted living services for mentally ill

Researchers at the University of Oulu have for the first time evaluated the suitability of a new international classification system for reclassifying Assisted living services for mentally ill. The study provides valuable information for the development of these services for mentally ill in Finland.

The main finding of the study was that the international Simple Taxonomy for Supported Accommodation (STAX-SA) classification would be quite suitable to complement the system currently used in Finland, as 65% of the surveyed Assisted living units could be reclassified directly with it. The strength of the international classification was its ability to classify most of the 24-hour and part-time service providing units.

In the study, nearly 90% of the service unit managers felt that the classification perfectly or somewhat perfectly reflects their current service levels.

The study is based on data from the ASPA project jointly carried out by the University of Oulu and the City of Porvoo. The study focused on Assisted living services for people with mental health problems in the city of Porvoo.

The international STAX-SA classification enables comparison of Assisted living services for mentally ill based on the level of service they provide. The classification has strengths in describing units and the services they offer, especially in distinguishing care and rehabilitation units from each other.

Assisted living services for mentally ill people have developed and grown for decades, but research has been scarce. In addition, the great variation in Assisted living service models, the lack of a unified classification and inconsistent reporting have made it difficult to evaluate and compare services.

“The results of this study help to understand the current state of services and enable comparison with international standards. However, further research on different levels of Assisted living services and their impact on the well-being of mental health patients is still needed,” states researcher Erfan Jahangiri.

The study has been published in Psychiatria Fennica magazine.

Last updated: 2.11.2023