The reMAP project: A retrospective, 15-year register study on inpatient care for youth with mental disorders
Ostinelli EG., Cavallotti S., Fanti V., Demartini B., Gambini O., D'Agostino A.
Aim: We aimed to characterize youth hospitalization trends in a psychiatric inpatient unit from a large, public university hospital with a broad catchment area in Milan, Italy. Methods: Hospitalization data of patients with an age at admission ≤ 35 were retrospectively retrieved over a time span of 15 years. The sample was comprised of 1982 admissions to a psychiatric ward, aggregated into ICD-10 diagnostic clusters and then analysed. We investigated the epidemiological trends with a focus on age at admission, gender, nationality and hospitalization rates, length of stay and “revolving door” readmissions within a year. Results: Hospitalization rates increased for eating Disorders and decreased for non-affective psychotic disorders; median length of stay generally decreased; hospitalization rates for foreign youth increased, in particular for those diagnosed with non-affective psychotic disorders, personality disorders, and substance-related and addictive disorders. The revolving door phenomenon was also associated with non-affective psychoses and neurodevelopmental disorders, while found to increase for eating disorders. Conclusions: Hospitalization patterns reflect the general increase of foreign youth in the suburban tissue of a large metropolitan area like Milan. However, our data might underestimate the constant growth of mental health problems in foreign youth due to a generally lower access to services. Novel pharmacological treatments and early intervention programs might explain the decrease of hospitalization duration and hospitalization rate for youth with non-affective psychoses. The observed increase in hospitalization for young patients with eating disorders sustains the development of adequate policies tailored towards specialty wards.