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Psychiatr Serv. 2003 Jul;54(7):994-8.

Rates and predictors of rehospitalization among formerly hospitalized adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavorial Medicine, School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.



The authors examined rates and predictors of rehospitalization among 180 adolescents followed up for up to 10.3 years after discharge from an inpatient psychiatric unit.


In this prospective, naturalistic study, demographic variables, including gender, race, and age, and psychiatric variables, including diagnoses, prehospitalization suicide attempts, and previous hospitalizations, were examined as potential predictors of rehospitalization. Information about rehospitalizations was repeatedly assessed and verified with treatment records.


During the follow-up period, 79 adolescents (44 percent) had one or more rehospitalizations. By six months after discharge, 19 percent of the adolescents had been rehospitalized. The mean time to first rehospitalization was estimated to be 5.7 years. Univariate analyses revealed significant differences between adolescents who were rehospitalized and those who were not in terms of age, presence of an affective disorder, and presence of a comorbid psychiatric disorder. In the multivariate predictor model, age and the presence of an affective disorder were the only significant predictors of rehospitalization.


Clinicians should examine risk of rehospitalization before discharge, especially for younger patients and those with depression. Future research must focus on methods of intervention for this high-risk group.

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