To determine predictors of hospital length of stay (LOS) for adult and geriatric patients with mood disorders admitted to inpatient psychiatric beds.
Admission and discharge data from a large urban mental health centre, from 2005 to 2010 inclusive, were retrospectively analyzed. Using the Resident Assessment Instrument-Mental Health, an assessment that is used to collect demographic and clinical information within 72 hours of hospital admission, 199 geriatric mood disorder admissions were compared with 570 adult mood disorder admissions. Predictors of hospital LOS were determined using a series of general linear models.
Living alone, number of recent psychiatric admissions, involuntary admission, and close or constant observation level predict longer hospital LOS in geriatric, but not in adult mood disorder, patients. Conversely, pain on admission predicts shorter hospital LOS in geriatric, but not among adult, mood disorder patients. Predictors of longer hospital LOS, irrespective of admission group (adult, compared with geriatric), include incapacity, negative symptoms, and increased dependence for instrumental activities of daily living.
Addressing these predictive factors early on during admission and in the community may result in shorter hospital LOS and more optimal use of resources.