Measuring outcomes on an MPU

Measuring Outcomes on a Medical Pscyhiatric Unit: Honos, Cansas and costs


To study the course of the functional status and healthcare needs of patients on a Medical Psychiatric Unit (MPU).


In a single-centre observational prospective design the HoNOS and CANSAS instruments were administered at admission and discharge. Functional status and healthcare needs were assessed utilizing the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) and the Camberwell Assessment of Needs Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS) respectively. The total costs of healthcare claims related to the admission were calculated based on claims data.


50 patients were included, with a mean improvement of 4.6 on the HoNOS and an effect size of 0.6. The total number of unmet needs, fell from 208 to 115. The median costs per decreased HoNOS point were €2.842 and €6.880 per unmet need.


Many patients improved, but due to a large standard deviation at baseline and a low Cronbach’s alpha only 4 patients showed a reliable improvement on functional status. That substantial remission was achieved was shown by the decrease in unmet needs of 93 (44.7%) for the whole group. These observations support the implementation of MPUs, although more research is warranted to ensure cost-effectiveness.