Comparison of the Clinical Effectiveness of “Short” Versus “Long” Stay Psychiatric Hospitalization IV. Predictors of Differential Benefit

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One hundred seventy-three patients were randomly assigned to LT (long term, unlimited length of stay, mean 179 days) vs. ST (short term, 90-day limit) psychiatric hospitalization. Three-year follow-up results showed few between-group differences, although LT patients tended to be rehospitalized more and had superior relative ratings of psychopathology. Demographic and clinical data did not predict differential benefit from LT or ST hospitalization. Diagnosis did not generally predict differential benefit either, except that clinically diagnosed personality disorders, given LT as opposed to St hospitalization, had poorer role functioning and less psychiatric treatments after discharge. Patients with a history of drug abuse did worse if given LT hospitalization in terms of role functioning and rehospitatalization. Overall, this study agrees with other relevant studies in indicating that hospitalization should be kept as short as feasiole.

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