The first aim of this study was to examine the rate, pattern and correlates of inpatient admission during the first 3 months of treatment for first-episode psychosis (FEP). The second aim was to determine whether the pattern of inpatient admission during this period was associated with remission of psychotic symptoms or inpatient service use at 15-month follow-up.Method
One hundred and four consecutive patients with FEP at a specialist treatment service were approached to participate in a follow-up study. Patients were grouped on the basis of the pattern of inpatient admission (none, one, or multiple) during the first 3 months of treatment. Clinical ratings at baseline and 3-month follow-up, and ratings of remission of psychotic symptoms at 3 and 15-month follow-up, were available for two-thirds of the patients. Inpatient data for the 15-month follow-up period were derived from an electronic database for most patients (n = 98).Results
Eighty (76.9%) of the 104 patients were admitted to an inpatient unit during the first 3 months of treatment. Fifty-nine (56.7%) patients had a single admission and 21 (20.2%) had multiple admissions. At baseline, inpatient admission was associated with a diagnosis of affective psychosis and more severe behavioural and functional disturbance but not positive psychotic symptoms. Multiple admissions were associated with risks to self or others at baseline and 3-month follow-up, and lack of remission of positive symptoms at 3 and 15-month follow-up. There was no association between the pattern of inpatient admission during the initial 3-month period and inpatient service use during the following 12-month period.Conclusions
The substantial proportion of young patients with FEP admitted to hospital emphasizes the need for youth-friendly treatment environments and practices. Although patients with multiple admissions during the initial treatment period are less likely to achieve remission, these patients are no more likely to establish a pattern of revolving-door hospitalizations compared with other patients.