Local factors affecting the tendency to bypass local hospitals for inpatient mental health care: an exploratory analysis

J Rural Health. Spring 1994;10(2):89-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.1994.tb00215.x.


Using the records of 2,171 rural residents of Illinois who received inpatient treatment for mental illness or substance abuse, this paper examines factors that influence the tendency to seek service from a distant rather than a local hospital. Results indicate that the age and insurance coverage of the individual, the per capita income of the community area, surrogates for the service orientation of the local hospital and the proximity of the patient's residence to an urban center are significant influences. With the exceptions of drug abuse requiring detoxification or other symptomatic treatment, drug abuse accompanied by comorbidity and psychosocial disorders, psychosis, and childhood disorders, the primary diagnosis of the individual failed to have a significant effect on the propensity to bypass local sources of inpatient treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Catchment Area, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Hospitals, Rural / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Institutionalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Insurance, Psychiatric
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Travel