Background Components of crisis resolution teams’ (CRTs) practices have been defined in recommendations and a fidelity scale, and surveys have reported how team leaders describe CRT practices. However, studies on CRTs have not measured and reported details of the crisis intervention provided to individual service users. The present study aimed to measure how various components of CRT practice were provided to individual service users and differences in practice between CRTs. Methods The study was exploratory and part of a prospective multicenter pre-post project on outcome of CRT treatment in Norway. Accessibility and intervention components of 25 CRTs were measured for 959 service users at the first contact after referral and in 3,244 sessions with service users. The data on CRT practice components were analyzed with descriptive statistics and factor analyses, and differences between teams were analyzed using ANOVA and calculating the proportion (intraclass correlation coefficient) of total variance that was due to differences between teams. Results One-third of the service users had their first session with the CRT the day of referral and another third the following day. Treatment intensity was mean 1.8 sessions the first week, gradually decreasing over subsequent weeks. Three of ten sessions were conducted in the service user’s home and six of ten in the team’s location. Eight of ten sessions took place during office hours and two of ten in the evening. The CRT provided assessment and psychological interventions to all service users. Family involvement, practical support, and medication were provided to two of ten service users. Between CRTs, significant differences were identified for a substantial proportion of practice components and especially for several aspects of accessibility. Cluster analysis identified two clusters of CRTs with significant differences in accessibility but no significant differences in the use of intervention components. Conclusions Measurements of accessibility and interventions provided to individual service users gave a detailed description of CRT practices and differences between teams. Such measurements may be helpful as feedback on clinical practice, for studying and comparing crisis resolution team practices, and in future studies on the association between different outcomes and potential critical elements of crisis interventions.
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