Retrospective Analysis of Factors Associated with Long-Stay Hospitalizations in an Acute Psychiatric Ward.

Di Lorenzo, Rosaria; Montardi, Giulia; Panza, Leda; Del Giovane, Cinzia; Saraceni, Serena; Rovesti, Sergio; Ferri, Paola (2020). Retrospective Analysis of Factors Associated with Long-Stay Hospitalizations in an Acute Psychiatric Ward. Risk management and healthcare policy, 13, pp. 433-442. 10.2147/RMHP.S238741

DiLorenzo RiskManagHealthcPolicy 2020.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC).

Download (499kB) | Preview


To evaluate the longest hospitalizations in an acute psychiatric ward [Service of Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment (SPDT)] and the related demographic, clinical and organizational variables to understand the factors that contribute to long-stay (LOS) phenomenon. The term "long stay" indicates clinical, social and organizational problems responsible for delayed discharges. In psychiatry, clinical severity, social dysfunction and/or health-care system organization appear relevant factors in prolonging stays.

Patients and Methods

We divided all the SPDT hospitalizations from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2015 into two groups based on the 97.5th percentile of duration: ≤36 day (n=3254) and >36 day (n=81) stays, in order to compare the two groups for the selected variables. Comparisons were made using Pearson's chi-square for categorical data and t-test for continuous variables, the correlation between the LOS, as a dependent variable, and the selected variables was analyzed in stepwise multiple linear regression and in multiple logistic regression models.


The longest hospitalizations were significantly related to the diagnosis of "schizophrenia and other psychosis" (Pearson Chi2=17.24; p=0.045), the presence of moderate and severe aggressiveness (Pearson chi2=29; p=0.000), compulsory treatment (Pearson Chi2=8.05; p=0.005), parenteral or other route administration of psycho-pharmacotherapy (Pearson Chi2=12.91; p=0.007), poli-therapy (Pearson Chi2=6.40; p=0.041), complex psychiatric activities (Pearson Chi2=12.26; p=0.002) and rehabilitative programs (Pearson Chi2=37.05; p=0.000) during the hospitalization and at discharge (Pearson Chi2=29.89; p=0.000). Many demographic and clinical variables were statistically significantly correlated to the LOS at our multiple linear and logistic regression model.


In our sample, clinical illness severity and need for complex therapeutic and rehabilitative treatments were associated with prolonged psychiatric hospitalizations. Understanding this phenomenon can have not only economic but also clinical, ethical and social relevance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

UniBE Contributor:

Del Giovane, Cinzia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services






Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 18:27

Last Modified:

31 May 2022 09:36

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

acute psychiatric ward illness severity predictors of long-stay psychiatric long-stay




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback