Hospital admissions for mental disorders

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Hospital stays due to mental disorders are increasing

The number of clinically treatable mental illnesses has increased massively in recent years, according to one of the results of the “Report Krankenhaus 2011” by the health insurance company Barmer GEK. According to this, hospital admissions due to mental illnesses have increased by 117 percent since 2000. The share of total hospital treatment has more than doubled since 1990, reports the Barmer GEK.

Patients with depression and other mood disorders in particular had to be treated more and more clinically in the past ten years, according to the key message of the Barmer GEK commissioned by the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology
and Health System Research (ISEG) in Hanover developed “Report Krankenhaus 2011”. Clinical admissions with corresponding indications increased by a worrying 117 percent and the share of total hospital treatment rose from 3.7 per 1,000 insured in 1990 to 8.5 per 1,000 insured in 2010.

Mental problems are becoming increasingly common
In addition to the general increase in hospital admissions due to mental problems, the treatment times for the mentally ill are a growing problem. Because although the total treatment time in the hospital has decreased by 27 percent since 1990, thanks in particular to the shorter treatment times for cardiovascular diseases (minus 43 percent), the treatment times for mental disorders show an opposite trend - they increased by 57 percent. In terms of the duration of treatment, the mental disorders have replaced cardiovascular diseases as the most time-consuming reason for treatment. Depression and schizophrenia alone accounted for 5.7 percent of all hospital treatment days last year, according to the Barmer GEK. The diagnosis of “psychological behavioral disorder due to alcohol” was determined as the most common reason for the instruction, the Barmer GEK reports further and evaluates this as a “health-worrying finding”. Overall, according to the “Report Krankenhaus 2011”, 17.1 percent of hospital days are in the area of ​​mental disorders

High re-admission rate for mental disorders
As part of the “Report Krankenhaus 2011”, the re-admission rate for mentally ill patients who have already had an inpatient stay was examined more closely. The experts at the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health System Research (ISEG) from Hanover found that around 30 percent of all patients had to be returned to a clinic in the first two years after inpatient treatment with the same psychological diagnoses. 39 percent of former patients are re-admitted to a clinic for diagnosis of any mental disorder within the two-year period, reports the Barmer GEK. The re-admissions are particularly frequent in the first month after an inpatient stay. About a third of the re-admission takes place in the first 30 days after discharge and around half of the re-admission is necessary in the first three months after a hospital stay, according to the "Report Hospital 2011".

Expansion of outpatient care for mentally ill people
According to the Barmer boss Dr. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker is one of the reasons that speak for a stronger expansion of outpatient or semi-inpatient care for mental patients. According to Schlenker, not every case belongs to the hospital anyway, and full inpatient care is not always the best solution. The Barmer boss pleaded for more local care for patients with mental disorders. "Nowhere else are individual treatment concepts and cross-sector approaches more urgent than in the area of ​​mental illnesses," emphasized Schlenker. According to the current findings of the "Report Krankenhaus 2011", every German spends an average of two days a year in his or her life during their life, whereby the health insurers incur an annual cost of EUR 744 per insured person. (fp)

Also read:
Study: Every third pupil is depressed
Depression: Many personalities affected
10 percent of clinics are threatened with closure
Every fifth hospital is in the red

Photo credit: Gerd Altmann /

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