This study compared comorbid conditions and functional status among elderly and nonelderly individuals with mental illness who were newly admitted to nursing homes (N=286,411).
Data were drawn from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services national registry of nursing home residents from the Minimum Data Set in 2008.
Among newly admitted individuals with schizophrenia, those younger than 65 accounted for a majority (60.3%) of admissions and had lower rates of medical illnesses and were more likely to be classified as low-care status than individuals who were 65 or older. Most (81%) new admissions with depression were 65 or older. Among all nonelderly admissions, individuals with depression had the highest rates of medical comorbidity.
Many adults younger than 65 with schizophrenia who were newly admitted to nursing homes lacked clinical indications for skilled nursing care. In contrast, higher rates of medical conditions among nonelderly adults with depression underscored the need for integrated psychiatric and medical care in nursing homes. (Psychiatric Services 62:1098–1100, 2011)