Short stay unit for patients in acute mental health crisis: A case-control study of readmission rates

Jerneja Sveticic*, Kathryn Turner, Shailendhra Bethi, Ravikumar Krishnaiah, Lee Williams, Alice Almeida-Crasto, Nicolas J. C. Stapelberg, Samit Roy

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction Past evaluations of psychiatric short stay units have shown positive outcomes for patients, yet very little is known about the factors related to readmissions. Methods A Short Stay Pathway (SSP) has been introduced on the Gold Coast, Australia, for patients in acute mental health crisis with admissions of up to 3 days. Rates of readmissions within 28 days were compared for SSP patients (N = 678), and a diagnosis-matched control group of patients from acute mental health beds (N = 1356). Demographic and clinical factors were considered as predictors of subsequent readmissions. Results Average length of stay for SSP patients was 3.4 days, compared to 7.6 days in the control group. 10.6% of SSP patients and 18.4% of the control group were readmitted within 28 days (P <.001). For both groups, a 7-day follow up significantly reduced readmissions (P <.05). Indigenous patients on SSP had higher odds of readmissions than non-Indigenous patients (P <.05), and a diagnosis of a personality disorder increased readmission in the control group but not the SSP group (P <.001). Discussion SSP reduced repeated hospitalizations for patients in acute crisis by 42%. An identification of factors related to future admissions can inform future tailoring of this model of care to subgroups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12376
Number of pages7
JournalAsia-Pacific Psychiatry
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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Sveticic, J., Turner, K., Bethi, S., Krishnaiah, R., Williams, L., Almeida-Crasto, A., ... Roy, S. (2020). Short stay unit for patients in acute mental health crisis: A case-control study of readmission rates. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 12(1), [12376].