Is Readmission a Valid Indicator of the Quality of Inpatient Psychiatric Care?

  • Janet Durbin
  • Elizabeth Lin
  • Crystal Layne
  • Moira Teed
Regular Article


Early return to hospital is a frequently measured outcome in mental health system performance monitoring yet its validity for evaluating quality of inpatient care is unclear. This study reviewed research conducted in the last decade on predictors of early readmission (within 30 to 90 days of discharge) to assess the association between this indicator and quality of inpatient psychiatric care. Only 13 studies met inclusion criteria. Results indicated that risk is greatest in the 30-day period immediately after discharge. There was modest support that attending to stability of clinical condition and preparing patients for discharge can protect against early readmission. A history of repeated admission increases risk, suggesting that special efforts are required to break the revolving door cycle. The authors identified a need for more standardization in measurement of client status at discharge and related care processes, more intervention studies on discharge practices, and studies of the effect of community care on early readmission.


performance monitoring psychiatric readmission hospital quality of care 


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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Durbin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Crystal Layne
    • 1
  • Moira Teed
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Systems Research and Consulting Unit, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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