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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999 Aug;53(4):491-5.

Comorbidity of depression among physically ill patients and its effect on the length of hospital stay.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Isehara, Japan. hosaka@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp

Abstract

This study was carried out to demonstrate the prevalence of depression among physically ill patients and to investigate its effects on the length of hospital stay. Out of 65 inpatients (44 male, 21 female; 51 with benign and 14 with malignant diseases), 14 (21.5%) met the criteria for major depression in the DSM-IV. The average length of hospital stay was compared according to the comorbidity with major depression. Among the patients with benign diseases, those with major depression stayed longer (P<0.05) at the hospital than those without it (82.2 vs. 36.0 days). Likewise, among the cancer patients, those with major depression stayed longer than those without it (83.8 vs. 51.4 days), although this was not significantly different. The duration of hospitalization needs to be shortened because of the reduction in national medical costs, the economics of hospital administration and the quality of life of patients and their families. Further research is needed to demonstrate the role of consultation-liaison psychiatry in the shortening of hospitalization.

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