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The impact of demographic clinical and institutional factors on psychiatric inpatient length of stay

Author: David A A Miller, Scott T Ronis, Amanda K Slaunwhite
Year: 2021
Category: Health Publications

Read the journal article in the National Library of Medicine

The average length of inpatient stay (LOS) for psychiatric care has declined substantially across Canada and the United States during the past two decades. Although LOS is based presumably on patient, hospital, and community factors, there is little understanding of how such factors are linked with LOS. The purpose of this study was to explore potential individual and systemic factors associated with LOS in a large-scale, longitudinal dataset. Study participants consisted of individuals 11 years of age and older admitted for psychiatric conditions to a New Brunswick hospital between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2014 (N = 51,865).

The study used a retrospective cohort design examining data from the New Brunswick Discharge Abstract Database, administrative data comprised of all inpatient admissions across provincial hospitals. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to estimate the association of individual, facility, and system-level factors with psychiatric LOS. Results indicated that hospital-level factors and individual-level characteristics (i.e., discharge disposition, aftercare referral, socioeconomic status (SES)) account for significant variability in LOS. Consistent with extant literature, our results found that hospital, clinical, and individual factors together are associated with LOS.

Furthermore, our results highlight demographic factors surrounding living situation and available financial supports, as well as the match or mismatch between preferred language and language in which services are offered.

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