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Involuntary hospitalization among young people with early psychosis: a population-based study using health administrative data


Objective — Early psychosis is an important window for establishing long-term trajectories. Involuntary hospitalization during this period may impact subsequent service engagement in people with newly diagnosed psychotic disorder. However, population-based studies of involuntary hospitalization in early psychosis are lacking. We sought to estimate the proportion of people aged 16 to 35 years with early psychosis in Ontario who are hospitalized involuntarily at first admission, and to identify the associated risk factors and outcomes.

Methods — Using linked population-based health administrative data, we identified incident cases of non-affective psychosis over a five-year period (2009–2013) and followed cases for two years to ascertain the first psychiatric hospitalization. We used modified Poisson regression to model sociodemographic, clinical, and service-related risk factors, and compared service-related outcomes for cases admitted on an involuntary versus voluntary basis.

Results — Among 17,725 incident cases of non-affective psychosis, 38% were hospitalized within two years, and 81% of these admissions occurred on an involuntary basis (26% of cohort). Sociodemographic factors associated with an increased risk of involuntary admission included younger age (16–20), and first-generation migrant status. The strongest risk factors were poor illness insight, recent police involvement, and admission to a general (versus psychiatric) hospital. Outcomes associated with involuntary admission included increased likelihood of control intervention use and a shorter length of stay.

Conclusions — One in four young people with first-episode psychosis will have an involuntary admission early in the course of their illness. Our findings highlight areas for intervention to improve pathways to care for people with psychotic disorder.



Rodrigues R, MacDougall AG, Zou G, Lebenbaum M, Kurdyak P, Li L, Shariff SZ, Anderson KK. Schizophr Res. 2019; 208:276-84. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

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