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Service utilization by schizophrenic patients in Groningen and South-Verona: an event-history analysis

  • S. Sytema (a1), R. Micciolo (a1) and M. Tansella (a1)


The question addressed to in this paper is whether severely mentally ill patients are treated differently in a community mental health service without the back-up of a mental hospital (South-Verona, Italy) compared with an institution-based system in which mental hospitals, although highly modernized, are still predominant (Groningen, The Netherlands). Using the psychiatric case-registers in both areas, the patterns of care in 2 years of follow-up of schizophrenic patients were constructed. Survival analysis was used to analyse in-, day- and out-patient episodes of care. Three-quarters of the Groningen and half of the South-Verona patients experienced at least one episode of hospitalization; 20% of the Groningen and 5% of the South-Verona patients were long-stay patients at the end of the observation period. The South-Verona patients had more episodes of in-patient and especially of day-patient and out-patient care. Cox's regression showed that the duration of episodes controlled for the history of events and sociodemographic characteristics, was significantly shorter in South-Verona. One of the main conclusion was that hospitalizations for the severely mental ill are also needed in a community-based system of care, supporting the assumption of a ‘bed-rock’ of mental illness. However, the South-Verona community mental health service seems to be able to reduce the duration of hospitalizations considerably.


Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr S. Sytema, Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen Psychiatrische Universiteitskliniek, Afdeling Sociale Psychiatrie, Postbus 30001, 9700RB Groningen, The Netherlands.


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Service utilization by schizophrenic patients in Groningen and South-Verona: an event-history analysis

  • S. Sytema (a1), R. Micciolo (a1) and M. Tansella (a1)


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