Age-related Differences in Patient Outcomes and Factors Associated with Psychiatric Stays at the Dube Centre, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon
Due to the global exponential increase in life expectancy, the average 65-year-old Canadian can expect to live for an additional 21 years. This increase in the population of seniors will significantly impact the healthcare system and though mental health conditions occur throughout life course, seniors with mental illnesses also experience multimorbidity, functional decline and cognitive difficulties due to aging. The complex needs of these patients are best addressed by age-specific services. Unfortunately, psychiatric care for older adults is undifferentiated from that of younger patients and as a result, mental health services are better suited to cater to the needs of younger patients. We sought to examine the differences in outcomes between older and younger patients in the psychiatric unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH), Saskatoon, as well as factors that influence length of stay and delayed discharge. We used administrative health data from the Saskatchewan Health Authority of in-patients’ admissions between 2012 and 2019. In this study, we show that despite the small population of older adult admissions at RUH, there are large and important differences in clinical outcomes between younger and older patient admissions. We also show that age is an important predictor of both length of stay and delayed discharges. Particularly, older patients are more likely to have longer lengths of stay and have thrice the odds of delayed discharges compared to their younger counterparts. The implications of these are many but the most important is that improving the outcomes of older patients by providing age-specific, specialized services such as geropsychiatric units can be useful and effective in reducing healthcare costs and expenditure for older patients, their caregivers, and the government.
Age-related differences, Psychiatric stays, Length of stay, Alternate level of care, Geropsychiatric units, Older patients, Specialized services
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Community Health and Epidemiology
Community and Population Health Science