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Community Ment Health J. 2008 Oct;44(5):321-30. doi: 10.1007/s10597-008-9133-z. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Longitudinal patterns of health system retention among veterans with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research, HSR&D, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR 72114-1706, USA.


Inconsistent service use for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is associated with poorer outcomes of care. We analyzed VHA National Psychosis Registry data for 164,150 veterans with these disorders to identify characteristics associated with 5-year patterns of survival and with retention in VHA care. Most cohort members (63%) survived the period with no break in VHA healthcare lasting over 12 months. Inconsistent utilization was associated with younger age, no service-connected disability, and less physical comorbidity, regardless of diagnosis. The influence of gender and ethnicity on attrition varied by diagnosis and gap-duration. Variation in attrition by gender and ethnicity warrants additional attention.

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