European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 75–82 | Cite as

Predictors of outcome of short-term child psychiatric inpatient treatment

  • A. Sourander
  • H. Helenius
  • H. Leijala
  • T. Heikkilä
  • L. Bergroth
  • J. Piha
Original Contributions


In this study, 85 children were prospectively followed after discharge from short-term inpatient treatment. Outcome was defined as functioning within normal range at the follow-up or as improvement in the child's behavior problems. Rutter Parent's Questionnaire was used as a measure on admission and at the 5-month follow-up after discharge. The child's more frequent individual behavior problems, antisocial behavior and disengaged family interaction on admission predicted both functioning outside normal range and less improvement at follow-up. Previous treatment because of developmental or behavioral problems and hyperkinetic symptoms on admission predicted functioning outside normal range. Parent's previous psychiatric hospital treatment was negatively associated with improvement. Pure emotional disorder predicted normal range functioning at follow-up. The child's age, gender, place of treatment and length of short-term treatment were not related to outcome. The results also stress the importance of taking into account both parents' and teachers' evaluations on admission.

Key words

Child psychiatric inpatient outcome predictors short-term 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Achenbach TM, Edelbrock C (1983) Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile. Burlington, VTGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Achenbach TM, McGonaughy SH, Howell CT (1987) Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specifity. Psychological Bulletin 101:213–232Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 3rd ed., revised. APA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Asay TP, Dimperio TL (1991) Outcome of children treated in psychiatric hospitals. In: Mirin SM, Gossett JT, Grob MC (Eds.), Psychiatric Treatment: Advances in Outcome Research (pp. 21–29). American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barker P (1974) The results in inpatient care. In: Barker P (Ed.), The Residential Psychiatric Treatment of Children (pp. 294–309). Crosby Lockwood Staples, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blotcky MJ, Dimperio TL, Gossett JT (1984) Follow-up of children treated in psychiatric hospitals: A review of studies. American Journal of Psychiatry 141:1499–1507Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Coddington RD (1972) The significance of life events as etiological factors in the diseases of children: A study of a normal population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 16:205–213Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dalton R, Forman MA (1992) Psychiatric hospitalization of school-age children. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dalton R, Muller B, Forman MC (1989) The psychiatric hospitalization of children: an overview. Child Psychiatry and Human Development 19:231–244Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dixon WJ (Ed.) (1992) BMDP Statistical Software Manual, Volumes 1 & 2. University of California Press, BerkleyGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hersov L (1994) Inpatient and day-hospital units. In: Rutter M, Taylor E, Hersov L (Eds.), Child and adolescent psychiatry (pp. 983–995). Blackwell: OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hurme H. (1981). Life changes during childhood. Thesis. Jyväskylä, Finland: Jyväskylä Studies in Education, Psychology and Social Research 41Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jemerin JM, Philips I (1988) Changes in inpatient child psychiatry: consequences and recommendations. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31:397–403Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jones RN, Latkowski ME, Kircher JC, McMahon WM (1988) The Child Behavior Checklist: normative information for inpatients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 27:632–635Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kolko DJ (1992) Short-term follow-up of child psychiatric hospitalization: clinical description, predictors, and correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 31:719–727Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Olson D, McCubbin M, Barnes H, Larsen A, Muten M, Wilson M (1985) Family inventories. University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MinnesotaGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Olson D, Russell C, Sprenkle D (1983) Circumplex model of marital and family systems: Theoretical update. Family Process, 22:69–83Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Piha J, Salmisaari T, Koskinen M (1990) Characteristics of recent child psychiatric inpatient treatment in Finland. Psychiatria Fennica 21:77–86Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pfeiffer SI, Strzelecki SC (1990) Inpatient psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents: A review of outcome studies. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29:847–853Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Riddle MA (1989) Research on a children's psychiatric inpatient service. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 28:42–46Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rutter M (1967) A children's behavior questionnaire for completion by teachers: preliminary findings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 8:1–11Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rutter M, Tizard J, Whitmore K (1970) Education, Health and behavior. London: LongmanGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shaffer D, Gould MS, Brasic J (1983) A Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Archives of General Psychiatry 40:1228–1231Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Silver LB (1976) Professional Standards Review Organizations: A handbook of child psychiatrists. American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sourander A, Heikkilä T, Leijala H, Heinisuo AM, Helenius H, Piha J (1995) Follow-up of short-term child psychiatric inpatient treatment. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 49:95–101Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sourander A, Leijala H, Lehtilä A, Kanerva A, Helenius H, Piha J (1996). Short-term child psychiatric inpatient treatment: place of residence as one year outcome measure. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 5:38–43Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tamminen T, Almqvist F, Piha J (1991) Psychiatric symptoms in Finnish children: an epidemiological study of 1000 8-year old children in five regions of the country. Reports of Psychiatria Fennica No 91Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Woolston JL (1991) Psychiatric inpatient services for children. In: Lewis, M. (Ed.) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A Comprehensive Textbook. Williams & Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sourander
    • 1
  • H. Helenius
    • 2
  • H. Leijala
    • 3
  • T. Heikkilä
    • 4
  • L. Bergroth
    • 1
  • J. Piha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child PsychiatryTurku University Central HospitalTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsTurku UniversityTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Child Psychiatric UnitSeinäjoki Central HospitalSeinäjokiFinland
  4. 4.Child Psychiatric UnitSatakunta Central HospitalPoriFinland

Personalised recommendations