Predicting Time to Readmission in Patients With Recent Histories of Recurrent Psychiatric Hospitalization: A Matched-Control Survival Analysis

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The most robust predictor of future psychiatric hospitalization is the number of previous admissions. About half of psychiatric inpatients with histories of repeated hospitalizations are readmitted within 12 months. This study sought to determine which patient characteristics predicted time-to-readmission within 12 months after controlling for the number of previous hospitalizations in 75 adults with recent histories of recurrent admissions and 75 matched controls. Results revealed multiple clinical and demographic between-group differences at index hospitalization. However, the only predictors of shorter time-to-readmission in multivariate Cox proportional hazards were unemployment (hazards ratio = 9.26) and residential living status (hazards ratio = 2.05) after controlling for prior hospitalizations (hazard ratio = 1.24). Unemployment and residential living status were not proxies of psychosis or moderated by illness severity or comorbid substance use. Results suggest that early psychiatric readmission may be more influenced by residential and employment status than by severe mental illness.

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