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Arch Suicide Res. 2010;14(2):171-81. doi: 10.1080/13811111003704811.

Is organizational change associated with increased rates of readmission to general hospital in suicide attempters? A 10-year prospective catchment area study.

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National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Sognsvannsveien 21, Oslo, Norway.


The objective of this study was to examine predictors for readmissions in patients admitted to a general hospital emergency ward for suicide attempts before and after organizational changes potentially affecting the chain of care. Socio-demographic and clinical variables were collected by clinicians from 1997 thru 2007. Data from the periods before and after 2004--when the hospital changed its catchment area--were compared. A substantial increase in readmission rates in the period after the organizational change was observed. This increase was not associated with any of the socio-demographic or clinical patient characteristics. Although no causal connection can be inferred, the observed association between organizational change and readmission rates could indicate that established post-discharge care systems for suicide attempters may be vulnerable to such change.

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