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Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;166(11):1258-68. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08111667. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

The influence of neighborhood environment on treatment continuity and rehospitalization in dually diagnosed patients discharged from acute inpatient care.

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  • 1Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA. jstahler@temple.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Environmental contingencies inherent in neighborhoods and communities have been shown to affect individual behavior. The authors analyzed neighborhood and individual factors predicting initial outpatient treatment attendance and rehospitalization within 1 year among patients who were dually diagnosed with at least one mental disorder and a substance use disorder and discharged from an acute psychiatric inpatient care unit.

METHOD:

Stepwise-forward logistic regression modeling and a geographic information system were utilized to assess data extracted from the medical records of 380 patients who, upon hospital admission, had one or more mental health disorders and a positive urine drug screen for prototypical illicit drugs. Geographic data on patients' neighborhood environment were obtained from public sources. Outcome variables were whether a patient attended the first outpatient treatment appointment within 30 days of hospital discharge and whether a patient was readmitted to the inpatient unit within 1 year of discharge. Predictor variables were features relating to individual-level patient characteristics and features associated with neighborhood environment.

RESULTS:

Factors that decreased the likelihood of attending the initial outpatient treatment were returning home following hospitalization (versus returning to an institutional setting), residing in an area with a high vacant housing rate, residing in an area far from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting location, having the chief complaint of bizarre behavior (i.e., grossly inappropriate behavior), and having a urine drug screen positive for heroin. The likelihood of being rehospitalized within 1 year was greater for Hispanic patients, patients who had at least one prior hospital admission, and patients who lived in close proximity to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting location. Patients living in areas with higher educational attainment had a reduced likelihood of rehospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS:

A more explicit focus on the neighborhood and community context represents an important area in psychiatry, in terms of both research and clinical practice, which can potentially enhance long-term care and treatment planning for psychiatric patients. Future research is needed to better understand the influence of the neighborhood environment to help predict important clinical outcomes.

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PMID:
19797433
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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