Association of Race/Ethnicity and Social Determinants with Rehospitalization for Mental Health Conditions at Acute Care Children's Hospitals

J Pediatr. 2022 Jan:240:228-234.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.08.078. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


Objective: To evaluate associations of race/ethnicity and social determinants with 90-day rehospitalization for mental health conditions to acute care nonpsychiatric children's hospitals.

Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of mental health hospitalizations for children aged 5-18 years from 2016 to 2018 at 32 freestanding US children's hospitals using the Children's Hospital Association's Pediatric Health Information System database to assess the association of race/ethnicity and social determinants (insurance payer, neighborhood median household income, and rurality of patient home location) with 90-day rehospitalization. Risk factors for rehospitalization were modeled using mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Among 23 556 index hospitalizations, there were 1382 mental health rehospitalizations (5.9%) within 90 days. Non-Hispanic Black children were 26% more likely to be rehospitalized than non-Hispanic White children (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.08-1.48). Those with government insurance were 18% more likely to be rehospitalized than those with private insurance (aOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04-1.34). In contrast, those living in a suburban location were 22% less likely to be rehospitalized than those living in an urban location (suburban: aOR 0.78, 95% CI 0.63-0.97).

Conclusions: Non-Hispanic Black children and those with public insurance were at greatest risk for 90-day rehospitalization, and risk was lower in those residing in suburban locations. Future work should focus on upstream interventions that will best attenuate social disparities to promote equity in pediatric mental healthcare.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Determinants of Health / ethnology*