Psychiatric Home Treatment for Inpatient Care - Design, Implementation and Participation


  • Stefan Hochwarter Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Pierre Tangermann Fraunhofer
  • Martin Heinze Brandenburg Medical School / Immanuel Clinic Rüdersdorf
  • Julian Schwarz Brandenburg Medical School / Immanuel Clinic Rüdersdorf


The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support long-term care is gaining attention, also in the light of population ageing. Known in Scandinavian countries under the term of welfare technology, it aims to increase the quality of life and independence of people with physical, psychological or social impairments. In Germany, a new form of psychiatric home treatment, inpatient equivalent treatment (IET), is offered since 2018. It should allow service users with severe mental health issues to stay in their familiar environment during crisis, while being treated in the same complexity and flexibility like in an inpatient unit. However, this change in delivering healthcare services leads to socio-technical challenges, such as coordination of work, integration into existing healthcare workflows and ensuring continuity of care. Hence, the objective of this exploratory study is to examine how information and communication technologies (ICT) interact in the new setting and how this process can be improved. Further, we also ask how service users can participate in designing home treatment services.