Date: 09 Feb 2014

Trends in Hospital Discharges and Dispositions for Episodes of Co-occurring Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

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This study examined trends in general hospital discharges and dispositions involving episodes of severe mental illness (SMI) with and without co-occurring substance use disorders. We analyzed data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey from 1979 through 2008. Discharges involving SMI and co-occurring substance use disorders (COD) were associated with shorter lengths of stay and had a greater likelihood of being discharged routinely or home and reduced likelihood of being transferred to a short- or long-term facility. Although COD discharges had a greater odds of leaving against medical advice than SMI discharges, this effect was not significant over time. A greater understanding of hospital discharge planning practices is needed to ensure that patients are linked to appropriate aftercare services.