What is an Intensive Outpatient Programme?

Introduction

An intensive outpatient programme (IOP) is a kind of treatment service and support programme used primarily to treat eating disorders, bipolar disorder (including mania; and for Bipolar I and Bipolar II), unipolar depression, self harm and chemical dependency that does not rely on detoxification.

Refer to Partial Hospitalisation.

Background

IOP operates on a small scale and does not require the intensive residential or partial day services typically offered by the larger, more comprehensive treatment facilities.

The typical IOP programme offers group therapy and generally facilitates 6-30 hours a week of programming for addiction treatment. IOP allows the individual to be able to participate in their daily affairs, such as work, and then participate in treatment at an appropriate facility in the morning or at the end of the day. With an IOP, classes, sessions, meetings, and workshops are scheduled throughout the day, and individuals are expected to adhere to the strict structure of the program. Online IOP has shown to be effective, as well.

The typical IOP programme encourages active participation in 12-step programmes in addition to IOP participation. IOP can be more effective than individual therapy for chemical dependency.

IOP is also used by some HMOs as transitional treatment for patients just released from treatment in a psychiatric ward.

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