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Can J Psychiatry. 1996 Feb;41(1):49-51.

Reduction of length of stay in an acute care psychiatric unit.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

Erratum in

  • Can J Psychiatry 1996 Jun;41(5):319.



To study the association between reduced length of stay in an acute care psychiatric unit and readmission rates.


Data on average length of stay, total discharges and readmission rates from April 1988 to March 1994 for 2 hospitals with high average lengths of stay was obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information database.


The average length of stay decreased from 25 days to 16 days, reaching the national level at one hospital. An initial increase in the readmission rate subsequently declined to pre-study levels. There was no change in length of stay at the other hospital.


Reducing the length of stay in an acute care facility by 9 days to an average of 16 days did not lead to a sustained increase in the readmission rate.

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