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Episodes of Care for First-Ever Psychiatric Patients a Long-Term Case-Register Evaluation in a Mainly Urban Area

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Michele Tansella*
Affiliation:
Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Istituto di Psichiatria, Università di Verona
Rocco Micciolo
Affiliation:
Istituto di Statistica e Ricerca Operativa, Università di Trento
Annibale Biggeri
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Statistica, Università di Firenze
Giulia Bisoffi
Affiliation:
Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Istituto di Psichiatria, Università di Verona, Verona, Italy
Matteo Balestrieri
Affiliation:
Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Istituto di Psichiatria, Università di Verona, Verona, Italy
*
Professor Michele Tansella, Istituto di Psychiatria, Università di Verona, Ospedale Policlinico, 37134 Verona, Italy. Fax: (+ 39-45) 585871

Abstract

Background

Psychiatric case registers (PCRs) are particularly useful for studying patterns of care over time. Methods of ‘survival analysis’ have rarely been used for assessing such data.

Method

A longitudinal study was conducted over 10 years (1 January 1982 to 31 December 1991) on 1423 first-ever psychiatric patients, using the PCR of South Verona, Italy. The product-limit method, the log-rank test, the Cox regression model and the Poisson regression analysis were used to analyse episodes of care and relapses.

Results

The duration of the episodes of care increased consistently from the first to the fifth episode. The probability of opening a new episode of care after the first one increased consistently from the second to the sixth episode. The only variable significantly associated with the length of the first episode of care was diagnosis (highest probability of having longer episodes for schizophrenic patients), while the length of the breaks following the first episode of care was associated with diagnosis, sex and occupational status (highest probability of opening a second episode of care for schizophrenic subjects and those with alcohol and personality disorders, for males, and for unemployed patients). The probability of opening a new episode of care decreased with time since last contact and increased with number of previous contacts.

Conclusions

The community psychiatric service in South Verona is fulfilling its original aim, that is, to give priority to the continuity of care for patients with chronic and severe mental illnesses. Survival analyses proved to be useful methods for assessing episodes of care.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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