Objectives: In a systematic literature review we examined patient-related predictors of inpatient treatment duration for mental disorders.
Methods: The databases Medline, Embase, Psyndex, PsycINFO and EBMR were systematically reviewed for studies in the years 1990-2009 regarding treatment duration of inpatients with ICD-10 diagnoses F3-F6. Also, their methodological quality was evaluated.
Results: Twenty-one studies examining 28 predictors (sociodemographic, clinical) were included. Longer treatment durations were found for patients living alone and with higher levels of initial symptom severity, duration of mental disorder, number of previous treatments, work absenteeism, and comorbidity. Obsessive-compulsive, eating and personality disorders were treated longer than depressive, anxiety, somatoform, and adjustment disorders. Results for age, gender, education, and profession were inconsistent.
Conclusions: The studies included heterogeneous analyses, treatments, and patients. Despite their sufficient methodical quality, these results are only tentative.