OBJECTIVES: To explore the risks and rates of readmission and their predictors 14 days, one year, and five years after discharge for the psychiatric population in Taiwan. METHODS: This was a prospective study based on claims from 44,237 first-time hospitalized psychiatric patients discharged in 2000, who were followed for up to five years after discharge. The cumulative incidence and incidence density of readmission were calculated for various follow-up periods after discharge, and Cox proportional hazard models were generated to identify the significant predictors for psychiatric readmission. RESULTS: The less than 14-day, one-year, and five-year cumulative incidences were estimated at 6.1%, 22.3%, and 37.8%, respectively. The corresponding figures for incidence density were 4.58, 1.04, and 0.69 per 1,000 person-days, respectively. Certain factors were significantly associated with increased risk of readmission irrespective of the length of follow-up, including male gender, length of hospital stay >15 days, economic poverty, a leading discharge diagnosis of schizophrenia/affective disorders, and residence in less-urbanized regions. Compared to children/adolescents, young adults (20-39 years) were significantly associated with increased risks of <one-year and <five-year readmissions, but not <14-day readmission. Additionally, hospital characteristics were significantly associated with increased risk of <14-day and <one-year readmission, but not with risk of <five-year readmission. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that the significant predictors for psychiatric readmission 14 days to five years after discharge were essentially the same except for patient's age and hospital accreditation level. This study also highlighted the importance of socioeconomic factors in the prediction of readmission.
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