Hospital Length of Stay in Individuals With Schizophrenia With and Without Cocaine-Positive Urine Drug Screens at Hospital Admission

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Despite the high prevalence of cocaine use disorder (CUD) in individuals with schizophrenia, current understanding of the effect of cocaine on psychiatric hospital length of stay (LOS) in individuals with schizophrenia is limited. We therefore retrospectively examined the medical records of 5106 hospital admissions due to exacerbation of schizophrenia. Linear regression and t-test were used to compare LOS between individuals with schizophrenia with cocaine-positive urine drug test results and those with negative test results. Individuals with schizophrenia who were also positive for cocaine had shorter LOS from both unadjusted (geometric mean LOS, 8.07 ± 1.92 vs. 11.83 ± 1.83 days; p < 0.001) and adjusted (β = 0.69; confidence interval, 0.63–0.76; p < 0.001) analyses. Our results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia who also have comorbid CUD may require shorter inpatient treatment during periods of exacerbation of symptoms. Replication of this finding has relevance in treatment planning and resource allocation for the subpopulation of individuals with schizophrenia who also have stimulant use disorders.

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