03:06pm Saturday 23 September 2017

Decrease in psychiatric admissions in Ireland

‘The main reason for the decline in admissions is likely to be the result of a growth in the delivery of mental health services in the community which is in accordance with mental health policy and international practice generally,’ says Antoinette Daly, lead author of the report at the HRB.

The core findings of the report are;

  • There was an equal proportion of male and female admissions.
  • The 45–54 year age group were most likely to be admitted, with a rate of 632.5 per 100,000 population.
  • The 20–24 year age group had the highest rate of first admissions, at 242.6 per 100,000 population.
  • Over half (54%) of all admissions were for single people.
  • In keeping with the pattern of previous years the unskilled occupational group had the highest rate of all (874.6 per 100,000) and first admissions (199.4 per 100,000).  
In terms of diagnosis
  • Depressive disorders, schizophrenia and mania together accounted for 61% of all admissions.
  • Depressive disorders accounted for almost one in three (29.5%) of all admissions.
  • Schizophrenia accounted for one in five (20%) admissions.
  • Mania accounted for one in nine admissions (11%) and alcoholic disorders accounted for almost one in twelve admissions (8.5%).  
Involuntary admissions

There was a slight increase in the proportion of involuntary admissions from 2010–2011. All involuntary admissions rose from 8% in 2010 to almost 10% (9.5%) in 2011, while first voluntary admissions increased from 9% in 2010 to almost 11% (10.5%) in 2011.

Eleven per cent of all admissions to general hospitals and 13% of all admissions to psychiatric hospitals were involuntary, compared with almost 2% (1.5%) of admissions to private hospitals.  

Discharges and deaths
  • There were 18,968 discharges from and 118 deaths in psychiatric units and hospitals in 2011.
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of all deaths were male and 75% were aged 65 years and over.
  • The average length of stay for all discharges was 63.7 days (median 14 days) whilst discharges excluding those with a length of stay of one year or more was 25.8 days (median 14 days).
  • Discharges (excluding those with a length of stay of one year or more) with a diagnosis of organic mental disorder had the longest average length of stay, at 45.4 days (median 22.0 days), followed by schizophrenia, at 36.0 days (median 19 days).
  • When discharges with a length of stay of one year or more were excluded the average length of stay was longest for discharges from independent/private and private charitable centres, at 34.4 days (median 29 days), followed by psychiatric hospitals, at 25.4 days (median 11 days), and general hospital psychiatric units, at 22.5 days (median 11 days).
Young people (under 18 years of age/child and adolescent services)
  • There was a total of 435 admissions for people under 18 to inpatient psychiatric services or who availed of dedicated child and adolescent in-patient services in 2011, no change from 2010.
  • Seventy per cent of all admissions for under 18s/child and adolescent services’ admissions were to dedicated child and adolescent in-patient units, 26% were to general hospital psychiatric units, 4% were to psychiatric hospitals and less than 1% were to independent/private and private charitable centres.
  • Seventy-four per cent (322) of admissions for under 18s/child and adolescent services’ admissions were first admissions, this represents a slight decrease in the proportion of first admissions from 2010 (79%).
  • Over half of all (56%) and first (57%) child and adolescent admissions were female.
  • Eighty-two per cent of all admissions were aged 15–17 years old.
  • Seventeen per cent were aged 14 years of age or younger.
  • Depressive disorders accounted for 35% of all admissions for under 18s/ child and adolescent services’ admissions.
  • Neuroses accounted for 13% of all admissions.
  • Schizophrenia accounted for 12% and eating disorders accounted for 10% of all admissions.
  • Females accounted for 67.5% of all admissions for under 18s/child and adolescent services’ admissions with depressive disorders, 59% of those with neuroses and 83% of those with eating disorders.
  • Males accounted for 67% of under 18s/child and adolescent services’ admissions with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  

Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2011 can be downloaded directly from the link below which takes you to the Publications section of the HRB website. Individual tables from the report may also be downloaded in excel format from the website. This means interested parties can cut and paste them for their own use. People who do so are asked to acknowledge the HRB as the source.

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