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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2005 Jan-Feb;27(1):44-56.

Length of hospital stay and health services use of medical inpatients with comorbid noncognitive mental disorders: a review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Medical Center, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We reviewed 23 studies on the association between noncognitive mental disorders and the use of general health care services by medical patients admitted to a general hospital. Only studies with a prospective design and with a correction for possible confounding factors were included. In most studies, only service use during index admission was observed, but eight studies included a longer observation period during follow-up after hospital discharge. The 15 studies that were restricted to service use during index admission showed mixed results: length of hospital stay was related to common mental disorders in some studies, but other studies did not find such an association. The eight studies that used a longer observation period showed findings that are more consistent. They demonstrated mainly that symptoms or complaints of depression are related to a higher resource use within general medical services.

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