Background: We explored phenotypic parameters of people with Huntington's disease who had been admitted to a psychiatric unit and then discharged, with a view to determining prognostic factors for discharge to higher levels of care.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 19 patients admitted to a psychiatric unit with Huntington's disease. Data on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) of behavior and function, global assessment of presence of depression and dementia as well as discharge outcomes were collated. Appropriate parametric and non-parametric statistical tests were applied.
Results: Fourteen patients were discharged to accommodation with the same level of care versus five who were discharged to a higher level of care. Having poor functioning in terms of activities of daily living predicted discharge to an increased level of care. Being depressed or having dementia did not forecast poor outcome. The total duration of admission was not related to UHDRS parameters.
Conclusions: Poor functioning on admission independently predicts the need for higher levels of care for patients who are admitted to a neuropsychiatric ward.