Changing patterns of hospitalization in eating disorder patients

Authors

  • Claire V. Wiseman,

    1. The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, White Plains, New York
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  • Suzanne R. Sunday,

    1. The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, White Plains, New York
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  • Fern Klapper,

    1. The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, White Plains, New York
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  • Wendy A. Harris,

    1. The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, White Plains, New York
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  • Katherine A. Halmi

    Corresponding author
    1. The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, White Plains, New York
    • The Cornell Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, NY 10605
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Abstract

Objective

This study investigated the changing patterns of hospitalization of eating disorder patients over the past 15 years.

Method

The records of 1,185 eating disorder patients between 1984 and 1998 were examined on several variables.

Results

Over the 15 years, the number of first admissions increased from 20 to 182. There was a concomitant decrease in length of stay from 149.5 days in 1984 to 23.7 days in 1998. Readmissions increased markedly from 0% during the first year to 27% of total admissions in 1998. The discharge weight of anorectic patients significantly decreased from a body mass index (BMI) of 19.3 in 1984 to 17.7 in 1998. These changes were particularly salient in the past 3 years, concurrent with a dramatic rise in managed care cases.

Conclusions

Over the past 15 years, eating disorder hospital treatment has metamorphozed from long-term treatment of a disorder to stabilization of acute episodes. For some patients, this change has been deleterious and not cost effective. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 69–74, 2001.

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