Determinants of length of hospitalization in a federal psychiatric hospital in Nigeria
Objective: The present study aims to determine the association between clinical-demographic variables and length of stay of patients admitted into Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar.
Design: Retrospective review of case records.
Methods: 280 case records of patients (discharged from September 1st, 2015 to August 31st, 2016) were assembled for review, out of which twelve cases were excluded for various reasons. Clinical and demographic data collected from the remaining 268 case records were subjected to univariate and multivariate analyses to determine variables associated with prolonged length of stay.
Results: Mean length of stay was 56.2 ± 40.9 and the commonest clinical diagnosis was schizophrenia (45.9%). Although gender, age, marital status and clinical diagnoses tended to influence length of stay, gender (p =0.007) and clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia (p =0.044) were the only variables that significantly predicted prolonged length of stay.
Conclusion: We found that gender and clinical diagnoses were important determinants of length of stay. If validated in future studies, these factors may help in accurate identification of cases at risk of prolonged hospitalization and act as guide to clinicians who may need to optimize intervention strategies early enough in managing such cases.
Keywords: Psychiatric hospitalization, Length of stay, Prolonged hospitalization, Psychiatric patients, Calabar