Background: In our previous studies, we found both gender differences among care recipients and predictors that influenced outcomes after discharge from a ward for demented elderly. Here, we investigate predictors that influence the length of stay for each sex.
Methods: We studied the data of 390 patients with dementia who were hospitalized in a ward for demented elderly between 1 April 2000 and 31 March 2008, and treated until 31 March 2009. The patients were divided into groups classified by gender. We analyzed the gender differences of characteristics and evaluated the predictors that influenced the length of stay in the ward for demented elderly using Cox's proportional hazards model. A model using the initial scores of the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R), Assessment Scale for Symptoms of Dementia (ASSD) and Nishimura's activity of daily living scale (N-ADL), which were examined on admission, was named Model 1. In Model 1, we checked the effect of each patient's characteristics, except for complications and destinations, on their length of stay. Model 2 used the final scores of HDS-R, ASSD and N-ADL including complications and destinations.
Results: There was a clear gender difference in the length of stay. The length of stay of women was longer than that of men. It was difficult to predict the length of stay in Model 1. Age was the only predictor in women and no predictor was identified in men. In Model 2, complications and the final HDS-R and N-ADL scores were predictors of the length of stay in men. Age, complications and destinations were predictors of the length of stay in women.
Conclusions: It was observed that there were gender differences among predictors of the length of stay. However, it was difficult to predict the length of stay on admission. Retrospectively, the length of stay was determined by physical and psychological conditions, not by the social variables in men. In women, it was supposed that the caregiver's wish to give care at home reduced the length of stay. Besides, complication was a common predictor of the extension of stay in each sex. We have to decrease the number of complications as much as possible to reduce the length of stay.