Mental Health :: Average length of hospital stay higher for mental illness patients

A new annual report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that in 2004–2005 patients diagnosed with mental illness represented 6% of all general hospital discharges or deaths (separations) in Canada, but 13% of all inpatient days.

This is due to the fact that, on average, mental illness patients had longer stays in general hospitals (17 days) compared to other patients (7 days).

The average length of stay was even longer for those in psychiatric hospitals (109 days, excluding Quebec data).

During the same period, mood disorders were the primary diagnoses in over a third (34%) of all mental illness separations for general and psychiatric hospitals combined, followed by schizophrenic and psychotic disorders (21%) and substance-related disorders (16%). The mood-disorder diagnosis group was the largest for all provinces and territories, with the exception of the Northwest Territories, where the substance-related disorder group was the largest.

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