Post-discharge contact with mental health clinics and psychiatric readmission: A 6-month follow-up study

Alexander Grinshpoon, Yaacov Lerner, Tzipi Hornik-Lurie, Nelly Zilber, Alexander M. Ponizovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Continuity of mental health care is a major topic in the post deinstitutionalization era, especially concerning its possible importance as a contributing factor in preventing rehospitalization. Objectives: To examine a) the association between continuing care and time to rehospitalization; and b) the predictors of time to first outpatient contact after discharge from psychiatric hospital. Methods: Hospitalization records of all patients discharged from the Tirat Carmel psychiatric hospital in Israel, between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2006, the National Register of Psychiatric Hospitalizations database and administrative databases of all psychiatric outpatient clinics in this catchment area were used to monitor continuing care and rehospitalization within 180 days from discharge. Predictors of time to rehospitalization and outpatient visits were examined using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: Out of the 908 discharged inpatients, 29% were rehospitalized and 59% visited an outpatient clinic during the study period. Of those who visited a clinic, 22% were rehospitalized compared with 40% of those who did not visit. Not making aftercare contact with a mental health clinic during the study period and/ or having a history of more than four hospitalizations were significant predictors of earlier psychiatric readmission. Males and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or affective disorders made contact with outpatient clinics significantly earlier. Patients who were discharged from the hospital after a daycare period contacted outpatient clinics significantly later than those who were not in daycare. Conclusions: The findings suggest that psychiatric rehospitalization is associated with discontinuity of contact with psychiatric services but not with diagnosis. Patients with schizophrenia or affective disorders were found to adhere to a greater degree to clinical aftercare, which may explain why they are not rehospitalized earlier than less severe patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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