Long-stay patients who were discharged from Friern and Claybury hospitals during the 6-year period between September 1985 and August 1991 were followed up for at least 1 year and the details of all readmissions were recorded. Of the 615 hospital leavers, some 178 (29%) were readmitted at some time during the follow-up period. A proportional hazards regression analysis revealed a number of independent baseline factors which affect the risk of readmission at any time during the follow-up period. Younger patients were more at risk of readmission than were older patients and ‘new’ long-stay patients had a greater risk than baseline patients. Risk was also greater in patients who had a larger number of pre-discharge admissions,a higher abnormal behaviour score (PSE BSO) or a diagnosis of manic psychosis. An ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed that these same five factors tended to increase the actual number of readmission episodes. The proportion of post-discharge time spent in hospital among the readmitted patients was found to be greater for males, new long-stay patients and for patients with a higher number of positive social behaviour symptoms (SBSPOS score).
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