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Research Snapshot: factors that affect youth hospitalizations for mental health problems

September 12, 2013

Inpatient hospitalization is one of the most expensive types of treatment for youth living with mental health problems. As a result, it’s important to understand what affects how long youth stay in hospital for mental health problems once they’re hospitalized and how often they’re readmitted to hospital for mental health issues.

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netResearchers looked at the length of stay and readmission to adult psychiatric hospital beds for 2,445 youth (ages 12 to 19) in 69 Ontario hospitals. They considered a wide range of factors that might affect how long youth stay in hospital for a mental health problem and whether they get readmitted.

On average, youth stay in psychiatric hospital for 16 days. The length of time they spend in the hospital depends most on the type of mental health problem they have.

Specifically, youth with schizophrenia, mood disorders, eating disorders, and intellectual disability tend to have longer stays than other youth. Age is also an important factor that affects how long they stay in hospital, with older youth tending to have longer stays.

You can read this Research Snapshot on the EENet website

This Research Snapshot is based on the article “Predicting length of stay and readmission for psychiatric inpatient youth admitted to adult mental health beds in Ontario, Canada,” by Shannon L. Stewart and others, published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, DOI: 10.1111/camh.12022.

Research Snapshots are brief, clear language summaries of research, presented in a user-friendly format. To read EENet’s clear language summary of this research, and others, visit

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