Sarah Maguire, Senior Research Psychologist (Correspondence), Peter Beumont, Professor
An international collaborative database: its use in predicting length of stay for inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 37, Issue 6, pages 741–747, December 2003
How to Cite
Maguire, S., Surgenor, L. J., Abraham, S. and Beumont, P. (2003), An international collaborative database: its use in predicting length of stay for inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 37: 741–747. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2003.01257.x
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lois J. Surgenor, Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
Suzanne Abraham, Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
- Issue published online: 25 NOV 2003
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
- Received 15 January 2003; revised 23 July 2003; accepted 25 July 2003.
- anorexia nervosa;
- length of stay;
- practice-based research.
Objective: We describe the establishment of an Australasian multisite research database for inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). Using this database, the second aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which length of stay (LOS) in participating facilities could be predicted at admission from patient, clinical, and site variables.
Method: Standardized demographic and clinical data were collated for 213 admission episodes involving 154 participants over a 20 month period from five Australian and one New Zealand specialist treatment centres.
Results: While nine variables significantly predicted LOS on univariate analysis, linear regression determined that only body mass index, and having had 2−3 previous admissions made significant independent contributions to LOS.
Discussion: Multisite databases offer a viable means by which to conduct clinical research, particularly in regard to low prevalence disorders such as AN. Their additional advantage is that of involving front-line practitioners recruiting participants more likely to be representative of cases seen across treatment centres. At just under a fifth of the total variance predicted by the best-fit model, LOS in hospital remains an aspect of AN treatment difficult to predict, and future studies need to explore variables other than the obvious demographic or clinical issues at admission. The clinical and planning implications are discussed.