Demographic and Clinical Correlates of Length of Stay in a Nigerian University Hospital Psychiatric Unit

Ukpong, Dominic ; Mosaku, Samuel (2009)


To investigate the clinical and demographic of prolonged hospital stays in a cohort of Nigerian psychiatric in-patients. The investigation covered a 5 year period of psychiatric impatient admissions at a Nigerian general hospital psychiatric and the records of 584 admitted and discharged patients that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were analyzed. Data were collected on demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with length of hospital stay. Mean length of stay (LOS) was 25 ± 23 days. Only the clinical variables of a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia (p = 0.0001), having received ECT (p = 0.0001), and a history of previous hospitalization for psychiatric illness (p = 0.034) significantly predicted prolonged LOS. As cost considerations are very important in this time of evidence-based practice there is a need for clinicians to modify their practice and be aware of the patient-related variables that affect LOS when managing their clients.