• in-patient care;
  • childhood;
  • adolescence;
  • compulsory care;
  • regional differences

ABSTRACT— In Sweden in-patient psychiatric care of children and adolescents is in decline. At the same time the out-patient care is increasing. These findings stem from a study of the annual patient statistics provided by the National Board of Health and Welfare. There are considerable differences among the counties in Sweden. In certain counties more than four times as many children and adolescents receive hospital care as in other counties. The distribution between child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry also varies considerably. However, it is usual that from the age of 18 years care is given in adult psychiatric clinics. Among patients with a diagnosis of psychosis and when compulsory care is necessary, adult psychiatric clinics are also responsible for patients 16 and 17 years old. Care of children at mental hospitals, still common in the 1960's, is nowadays no longer existent. The study is a starting-point for a discussion about how to attain better co-operation between child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry.