Original Paper

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 155-168

First online:

Length of Stay of General Psychiatric Inpatients in the United States: Systematic Review

  • Alex D. TullochAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London Email author 
  • , Paul FearonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College LondonTrinity College Dublin and St Patrick’s University Hospital Dublin
  • , Anthony S. DavidAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Psychiatric length of stay (LOS) has reduced but is still longer than for physical disorders. Inpatient costs are 16% of total mental health spending. Regression analyses of the determinants of LOS for US adult psychiatric inpatients were systematically reviewed. Most studies predated recent LOS reductions. Psychosis, female gender and larger hospital size were associated with longer LOS, while discharge against medical advice, prospective payment, being married, being detained and either younger or middle age were associated with shorter LOS. Associations appeared consistent, especially where sample size was above 3,000. Updated studies should be adequately powered and include the variables above.

Keywords

Length of stay Psychiatric hospitals Healthcare utilization