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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. g.koopmans@bmg.eur.nl


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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