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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1998 Sep;20(5):292-301.

Use of hospital services by AIDS patients with psychiatric illness.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of psychiatric illness on length of stay and patterns of admission among AIDS patients hospitalized for medical illnesses. Medical records were abstracted for AIDS patients admitted to hospitals in Washington State from 1990 through 1992. Psychiatric comorbidity was defined by the presence of an International Classification of Disease-9 code reflecting psychiatric illness. Medical morbidity was addressed using CD4 count and AIDS-defining illnesses as markers of disease severity. Of 2834 admissions, 15% included one or more psychiatric diagnoses. Psychiatric illness (F 39.1; df 1,2830; p < 0.001) and discharge disposition (F 81.2; df 2,2830; p < 0.001) contributed significantly to the model, explaining increased length of stay (F 67.2; df 3,2830; p < 0.001). Future research needs to address the possible etiology of psychiatric comorbidity's contribution to length of stay and the effect on quality and cost of care.

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