n African Journal of Psychiatry - Predictors of psychiatric readmissions to the psychiatric unit of a tertiary health facility in a Nigerian city - a 5-year study : original article




Little is known about predictors of readmission of psychiatric patients in the study environment. Knowledge of this, we believe could aid effective management of psychiatric patients, as well as judicious and equitable utilization of the limited mental health facilities in the North-central zone. The aim was to identify factors that may be predictive of readmissions to an in-patient psychiatric facility of a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital. A retrospective record review of all admissions and discharges to / from the psychiatric inpatient ward of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, (UITH) between May 2000 and April 2005. Patients and clinical characteristics were recorded and all the data were characterized according to age, gender, marital status, occupational status, length of stay on admission, number of admissions, and medication compliance. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 11 to derive the chi square figures, Pearson's correlation, and logistic regression. The level of statistical significance was set at 5%. Within the study period, 41.4% of cases were readmissions. Young age, longer length of stay, multiple admissions and the diagnosis of schizophrenia were predictive of readmission while medication non-compliance was not predictive. Provision of psycho-education to both the patients and their families, identification of early symptoms of relapse, application of immediate and appropriate measures, and adequate record-keeping by health institutions are advocated.


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