Go to content

Impact of physician follow-up care on psychiatric readmission rates in a population-based sample of patients with schizophrenia


Objective — The study evaluated the association between physician follow-up within 30 days after hospital discharge and psychiatric readmission within the subsequent 180 days.

Methods — Among inpatients with schizophrenia who were discharged between 2007 and 2012 in Ontario (N=19,132), those who had a 30-day follow-up visit with a primary care physician (PCP) only, a psychiatrist only, or both were compared with a no-follow-up group. The primary outcome was psychiatric readmission in the subsequent 180 days. Secondary analyses stratified the sample on the basis of readmission risk at discharge.

Results — About 65% of patients had follow-up care within 30 days postdischarge. Psychiatric readmission rates were similar among patients with any physician follow-up and significantly lower than among those with no follow-up (26%): PCP only: 22%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]=.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.81-.96; psychiatrist only, 22%; aHR=.84, CI=.77-.90; both, 21%, aHR=.82, CI=.75-.90). In stratified analyses, 66% of patients were in the category at highest risk of psychiatric readmission, and the effect of follow-up with any physician was significant for these patients, compared with high-readmission risk patients with no follow-up, who had a 29% readmission rate (PCP only, 20% readmission rate, aHR=.85, CI=.77-.94; psychiatrist only, 29%, aHR=.84, CI=.77-.92; both, 17%, aHR=.81, CI=.73-.90).

Discussion — Timely physician follow-up was associated with reduced risk of psychiatric readmissions, with the greatest reduction among patients at high risk of readmission. Because more than one-third of patients had no physician visit within 30 days postdischarge, improving physician follow-up may help reduce psychiatric readmission rates.



Kurdyak P, Vigod SN, Newman A, Giannakeas V, Mulsant BH, Stukel T. Psychiatr Serv. 2018; 69(1):61-8. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

View Source

Associated Sites