Factors Associated With Premature Discharge of Patients With Psychosis Against Medical Advice
AbstractObjective: This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of patients with psychosis who had escaped from hospital or were discharged prematurely and against medical advice.
Method: We carried out this retrospective study on 72 patients with psychosis who were discharged prematurely over a 38-month period and compared them to 76 patients with psychosis who were discharged according to the physician’s order, as the control group. In addition to the demographic factors, we assessed the following: the patient’s and their care giver’s level of education, in hospital stay, suicidal idea and attempt, smoking, substance abuse, psychiatric diagnosis, arrest record, imprisonment, positive history of psychiatric disorder in the first degree family members, first episode of psychosis, admission with police assistance, unemployment, and escape history (from hospital, school, military service, home, work and prison).
Results: The two groups of patients were comparable in regard to two factors: the in hospital stay, and a positive history of escape. The latter was defined as leaving home, quitting work, escaping from school and military service, and a positive history of escape from hospital.
Conclusion: Irregular discharge of patients with psychosis seems to be predictable by their positive escape history, and therefore preventable. Irregular discharge is more likely in the first few days of hospital admission. There is also a great tendency towards irregular discharge when in hospital stay gets long.
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