About this Journal

Article Abstract

Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 2, Issue 4, 1999. Pages: 177-182

Published Online: 31 May 2000

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

 Research Article
Identifying factors affecting the placement of mentally ill patients
Eamon O'Shea *, Jenny Hughes, Siobhán O'Reilly
National University of Ireland, Galway
email: Eamon O'Shea (eamon.oshea@nuigalway.ie)

*Correspondence to Eamon O'Shea, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Background: There is now general agreement that a comprehensive psychiatric service can operate with the minimum use of in-patient facilities. Consequently, the emphasis in most European countries is on reducing the number of inpatient beds and expanding the range of community care facilities, including day hospital services, available to mentally ill patients. Decision-making with respect to placement is now even more important given the changes currently taking place on the supply side.
: The study examines the factors that influence placement decision-making between inpatient care and day hospital care in one Health Board in Ireland. Placement was examined over a 9 month period for all patients presenting for treatment in one particular area with a population of 39000 people. Patients were not randomized between the two settings due to ethical concerns about the randomization process. The issue of placement is analysed using a logit estimation procedure.
: The results suggest that two variables have a significant affect on placement for the population under review: whether the patient is accompanied at the time of admission and the domicile of the patient.
: Greater flexibility with respect to the opening hours of day hospital facilities, linked to improved transport facilities, together with further analysis on the process of admission to hospital, particularly the dynamics of the interaction between providers, patients, and accompanying persons, may improve placement decision-making for mentally ill patients. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Received: 20 February 1999; Accepted: 9 November 1999