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Article   |    
Psychiatric and Social Reasons for Frequent Rehospitalization
Suzanne Kent; Peter Yellowlees
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Ms. Kent's participation in the study was funded by the South Australian Mental Health Services and the Glenside Hospital Research Foundation. The assistance of Marcia Fogarty, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.N.Z.C.P., is gratefully acknowledged.

South Australian Mental Health Services in Adelaide, South Australia

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Objective: The authors attempted to identify factors that commonly contributed to the decision to rebospitalize patients who made heavy use of mentalbealtb services. Methods: The case notes of 50 patients with frequent readmissions to the South Australian Mental Health Services over a three-year period were examined to identify which of 15 factors most frequently contributed to hospital readmission. Results: Lack of insight or denial of illness was cited in 62.2 percent of the patients' 442 total admissions, followed by relationship problems (61.1 percent), suicidal ideation (44.8 percent), and noncompliance with medication (43.2 percent). When the 15 factors were combined into four major categories, social factors were found to contribute to 38.9 percent of admissions, followed by factors related to psychiatric and physical illness (31.1 percent), dangerousness to self or others (20.3 percent), and substance abuse (9.7percent). Conclusions: The substantial contribution of social factors to the readmission of patients to acute mental health services is strong evidence that the mental health system must provide appropriate targeted resources and assertive, continuous case management to avoid social crises. issues surrounding drug and alcohol abuse among heavy users of services must be actively addressed.

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