Aims: This study measures the impact of 90-day physician follow-up care after psychiatric hospitalization among 3,311 adults and youth, with risk of subsequent readmission within six months.
Methods: A 5-year investigation was conducted based on Quebec (Canada) medical administrative databases. Cox proportional-hazards regression was performed, with 90-day follow-up care as the main independent variable, controlling for various sociodemographic, clinical, and other service use variables.
Results: Within the 90-day follow-up period after patient discharge, or in the first 30 days, receiving at least one consultation per month as opposed to no consultation was associated with a reduced risk of psychiatric readmission. Women showed an increased readmission risk compared to men, while those living in less materially deprived areas a decreased risk as opposed to more deprived areas. Patients hospitalized for suicide attempt or schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, and those with co-occurring mental and substance-related disorders or chronic physical illnesses, especially illnesses high on the severity index, also presented a heightened risk of hospitalization. Patients hospitalized for personality disorders or receiving a high continuity of physician care showed a reduced risk of readmission.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that follow-up care, if provided within the first 30 days of discharge or monthly during the 90-day follow-up period, decreased the risk of readmission, as did having a high continuity of physician care prior to and within the 90-day follow-up period. However, few patients in this study had received such high-quality care, indicating that the Quebec system needs to considerably improve its discharge planning processes.
Keywords: follow-up care; hospital readmission; mental disorders; substance-related disorders.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.