Central State Hospital Discharge Study

Central State Hospital (CSH) was ordered closed by Governor Evan Bayh in 1992, with a target closure date of June 30, 1994. CSH was the oldest psychiatric hospital in Indiana and its campus was located wholly within the city of Indianapolis. As part of the closure process, the Indiana Division of Mental Health (now the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction) contracted Indiana University researchers, through ICMHSR, to study the closure process and to follow the progress of discharged patients. The research study spanned more than a decade, with the final materials collected in 2004.

The research and advisory teams developed and implemented procedures for tracking the location and service status of clients discharged from the hospital for the Division of Mental Health. This service focused on all patients discharged from the hospital between March 23, 1992 when the closure was announced and June 30, 1994 when the process was completed. Data was collected regularly from the six mental health centers in the Central State Hospital district, and supplemented with information from the client and other community sources. The Tracking Service also gathered information about discharged patients on a regular basis such as current health problems, medication use, legal contacts, and days spent in inpatient facilities. Regular reports were provided to the State of Indiana concerning the information collected.

In addition to the tracking service, the research team also implemented a research study to examine the impact of Central State Hospital's closure on the clients, their families, hospital staff, and the community, with a particular emphasis on the clients' quality of life. In order to provide a full picture of the closure, a series of in-person interviews and chart reviews were collected, as well as interviews with family members, the general public, and former CSH employees.

Consistent with the professional and ethical regulations governing academic research, the information collected in this part of the study is held in strict confidence. No verbal or written reference will ever be made regarding the identification of any respondent. The results of this study will be presented to the community, government personnel, and other interested parties in ways which guarantee the anonymity of all study participants. The outcome of this research will contribute to the national and state debates on the quality of life and services for people with severe and persistent mental illness.

Copies of selected instruments are available from the Publications page; the March 2005 Tracking report is available below:

Tracking Report - March 2005