Admission rate of patients with major psychiatric disorders to the intensive care unit

Daniel A. King*, Essam Hussein, Gali Epstein Shochet, Yaron P. Bar-Lavie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Major psychiatric disorders such as major depression and schizophrenia interfere with patients’ life activities and ability to function. These disorders correlate with a higher prevalence of medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Objective To compare the admission rate of patients with major psychiatric disorders between the intensive care unit and other departments in a tertiary care center. Methods In a retrospective study of records of 238 721 patients, data were collected from admission files and the intensive care unit computer system. The study group was 245 patients with psychiatric disorders admitted to the intensive care unit. Control groups were 9226 psychiatric patients in other hospital departments and 3032 nonpsychiatric patients in the intensive care unit. Results A major psychiatric disorder was diagnosed twice as often in the 3277 patients admitted to the intensive care unit as in patients admitted to other departments (7.5% vs 3.8%, P <.001). The study group had fewer male patients than did the nonpsychiatric intensive care unit group (52% vs 66%, P <.001); the age distribution was similar. Patients with a psychiatric disorder required longer stays than other intensive care unit patients. However, their mortality rate was significantly lower (8.57% vs 17.1%, P =.001). A direct correlation between the admission and a psychiatric condition was found in one-third of admis-sions in the study group. Conclusions Psychiatric patients’ admission rate to the intensive care unit was significantly higher than their admission rate to other departments. Their intensive care unit stays were also longer, which may increase resource use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-483
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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