Discharge of psychiatric patients against psychiatrist's advice

Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2021 Jul 19:35:92. doi: 10.47176/mjiri.35.92. eCollection 2021.


Background: Discharge from the hospital against the doctor's advice and refusal of receiving treatment is one of the significant issues at the time of hospitalization, which is especially crucial in relation to psychiatric patients. It can exacerbate the disorder and the subsequent complications and increase further hospital admissions. The present study was designed to evaluate the causes of discharge from the hospital and the refusal of receiving treatment against medical advice in hospitalized patients in Iran Psychiatric Hospital. Methods: The present study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. One hundred patients hospitalized in Iran Psychiatric Hospital discharged with personal consent against medical advice from July to December 2018 were studied. Two methods were used for assessment; the fulfillment of a routine ministry-approved checklist by the dischargers themselves and the face-to-face interview with both the patient and discharger based on a researcher-made checklist. Cohen's Kappa coefficient was used to assess the agreement of the answers of patients to both routine ministry-approved and researcher-made checklists by SPSS software version 16.0 with an overall accuracy of 95%. Results: Based on the results extracted from the researcher-made checklist, 43 (43%) of the discharges were generally based on patient-related factors. The personal insistence to discharge by the patient was cited as the main reason for discharge. Cohen's Kappa coefficient showed no significant agreement between the patient's answers to the interview and what they have previously filled in the routine ministry-approved checklist. More specifically, the measure of agreement for answers of patients to questions in the standard checklist and the questions asked by the interviewer was 0.078 (p=0.167). Conclusion: From the results of this study, it can be concluded that the face-to-face interview based on the researcher-made checklist can more effectively determine the reasons for discharge of patients due to the accuracy of the interview.

Keywords: Discharge against medical advice (DAMA); Hospitalization; Psychiatric patient.