Short-Term vs. Long-Term Treatment

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Patients undergoing therapy are particularly concerned about the duration of the therapy. While most patients prefer therapy for short period because of convenience, some patients may need to undergo therapy for long period owing to the complexity of their condition.

Short term therapy usually lasts from a couple of days, running up to a few weeks whereas therapy for longer period is an ongoing process, running into years and even forever in some extreme cases. From a patient’s perspective, the short-term the therapy the better it is. Therapy for short period is less expensive, less exhaustive and less taxing on the patient. Moreover, therapy requires caregiving and patients tend to get demotivated and distressed due to dependency if the therapy goes on for a very long time.

Therapy for long time, on the other hand, may be the only option in some extreme cases like cancer and ongoing psychotherapy. In such cases, therapy for long period usually saves the patients from lethal consequences and helps the patient recover from extreme conditions. This therapy can be expensive and exhaustive or the patients, doctors as well as caregivers; however, it may be required to keep the patient alive in some cases. In cases of acute behavioral disorders, it is used to keep the patient from falling prey to permanent mental disorders like amnesia and nervous breakdown. Some other types of care provided to the addicts are 12 step vs. Non 12 step, Inpatient vs.Outpatient, Holistic etc.

How Short-Term and Long-Term Treatment Can Help

Treatment for short period can expedite the recovery process in patients, leading to shorter time spent in bed and in the hospital. This can not only save money for the patient, it also saves more time and bandwidth for the medical professionals to look after and treat more patients. Therapy for short time is usually not meant for patients suffering from lethal conditions and usually doesn’t require individual care to be administered onto the patient. Think of therapy for shot time as a quick fix for ailments arising in day to day lives of the patients.

Therapy for long time can be really helpful in cases in which the patients are suffering from acute and chronic ailments with the potential for turning fatal. In most cases, chronic ailments are required for patients for lifetime. While therapy for long time may be costly, most of these recovery programs are covered under insurance schemes (Read the offer document carefully). Therapy for long time may be administered onto the patient in a special facility and after a few months, the patients may be discharged to be taken away. Patients may be treated at home or may be required to make visits to the doctor frequently after they have been discharged.

Pros of Short-Term Treatment

  • Fast
  • Economical
  • Quick relief

Pros of Long-Term Treatment

  • Methodological
  • Patients are given individual attention for a long time
  • Employed in life threatening and extremely hazardous situations

Cons of Short-Term Treatment

  • Ailment may resurface
  • May not prove to be a sustainable cure for the illness
  • More of a “quick fix”

Cons of Long-Term Treatment

  • Expensive
  • Patients may feel distressed due to the lengthy duration


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