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Research Snapshot: How effective are short-stay hospital programs for youth mental health?

March 7, 2013

In recent years, there has been a shift away from long-term hospital stays for youth with serious mental health needs. The new approach is to have shorter hospital stays, where youth are stabilized, and then connected with community resources. Ontario researchers looked at the effectiveness of this approach, using Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) as a case study.

The researchers surveyed 211 patients, their parents, and their mental health care providers. The patients were seven to 17 years old and were admitted to CHEO for mental health issues. The survey assessed the youth’s mental health at admission and discharge from the hospital.

Results showed that most of the youth were admitted with mood and anxiety issues, and risk of self-harm and suicide. The results showed that despite the short stays, there were improvements in mental health risk and symptoms by discharge. Systems support (such as supervision, placement safety or organization of services) however, only improved for those youth who received Transitional care.

Read this Research Snapshot titled, “How effective are short-stay hospital programs for youth’s mental health?” here.

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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