What’s The Difference Between PHP vs. IOP?

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What’s The Difference Between Partial Hospitalization Program Vs. Intensive Outpatient Program?

When it comes to mental health treatments, there are a variety of options that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of patients. Whether you’re seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, understanding the differences between the various types of programs can help you make an informed decision. 

Two common treatment options are partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Here, we’ll explore the differences between PHP and IOP and how each one may be beneficial in different scenarios.

What Is A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a level of care that is above outpatient care, but below inpatient care. PHP allows patients to receive the treatment they need while still living outside a treatment facility and going to work or school, although many people still live in a sober living facility rather than at home. PHP is typically used for patients with mental health conditions or substance abuse disorders.

PHP typically includes 5-7 hours of treatment per day, 3-5 days per week, at least 20 hours a week. Treatment may include individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other services as needed. PHP programs vary in length depending on the needs of the patient, but most last 4-6 weeks.

Patients in a PHP program are typically less sick than those in an inpatient program, but more sick than those in an outpatient program. PHP allows patients to receive intensive treatment while still maintaining some level of normalcy in their lives.

What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a short-term, highly structured treatment program that provides intensive therapeutic services to patients who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. IOPs are typically used as a step down from inpatient care, or as an alternative to inpatient care for patients who are not ready for discharge. It is a level of care one step down from the Partial Hospitalization Program. 

IOPs typically offer more hours of treatment than traditional outpatient programs, but fewer than PHP programs. Patients typically attend IOP three to five times per week for at least 6 hours a week. Treatment in an IOP is focused on helping patients develop skills to manage their mental health or substance abuse issues, and includes individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.

The Differences Between PHP And IOP

There are many differences between PHP and IOP, but the most important difference is that PHP is a more intensive form of treatment than IOP. 

PHP requires patients to stay at a residential facility for at least several hours a day, while generally still living in a sober living situation. IOP patients can sometimes continue to live at home and work or go to school while they receive treatment. PHP also typically includes more individualized therapy and counseling than IOP, as well as group therapy and other programming. 

Because it is more intensive, PHP generally costs more than IOP.

Who Needs PHP?

Patients who need more comprehensive care than what is available at an IOP, but who do not need 24-hour monitoring, may be candidates for a PHP. A PHP allows patients to live outside of the treatment facility or in a sober living environment while receiving treatment during the day.

Who Needs IOP?

IOP is typically recommended for patients who:

  • Have completed a residential treatment program and need extra support to maintain their sobriety
  • Are dealing with mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness or addiction
  • Need structure and accountability but can’t commit to a full-time PHP program
  • Have a strong support system in place at home

PHP Vs. IOP: Which Is Better For You?

The main difference between PHP and IOP is the level of care and support each provides. PHP is a more intensive program that offers more structure and support than IOP. This makes PHP a good choice for people who need more help stabilizing their mental health before transitioning to less intensive care. IOP, on the other hand, is best suited for people who are already stable and just need some extra support to maintain their recovery.

Another thing to consider when choosing between PHP and IOP is cost. Because PHP is a more intensive program, it typically costs more than IOP.

However, this decision is best made alongside a doctor or other mental professional. Ideally, treatment should not be based on convenience or cost but on the level of care the patient needs due to their illness, rather than other factors. 

Before making a firm decision on what level of care you need, please speak with a medical professional or a doctor.

Do You Need IOP Or PHP Treatment? 

While both programs offer a variety of services aimed at helping people struggling with mental health issues, the PHP is typically more intensive and requires patients to stay on campus for several hours each day while receiving treatment, whereas IOP provides treatment for a few hours each week without requiring hospitalization. 

Ultimately, it’s important to discuss these options with your doctor or mental health provider to determine which program is best suited for your individual needs. If you would like to speak with someone about what care might be best for you, you can give us a call at (561) 556-1979 and we can help you through the process. 

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