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Hospital Injuries among Schizophrenia Patients

Hospital Injuries among Schizophrenia PatientsPeople with schizophrenia are at risk during nonpsychiatric hospital admissions.

A large national study finds they are more likely than others to sustain medical injuries during their stay.

“These findings confirm that medical and surgical hospitalizations are an at-risk time for this group, and a national problem,” said lead study author Elizabeth Khaykin, at the Department of Mental Health at Bloomberg Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Schizophrenia affects about 1.1 percent of U.S. adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The new study appears in the July/August issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

Khaykin and her colleagues studied hospital discharge records from 3,605 U.S. hospitals from 2002 to 2007 using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, covering 269,387 hospitalizations of people with schizophrenia and more than 37 million hospitalizations of people without schizophrenia.

The data showed that people diagnosed with schizophrenia have a higher risk of having medical injuries – including decubitus ulcers (bedsores), sepsis and infection – while they are hospitalized than do patients without schizophrenia.

The odds of having postoperative respiratory failure were almost twice as high.

For example, there were 24.2 incidences of postoperative respiratory failure per 1,000 hospitalizations for those with schizophrenia compared with 9.2 incidences for those without.

In addition, there were 36.6 incidences of bedsores per 1,000 hospitalizations for those with schizophrenia compared to 27.7 per 1,000 people without.

“The combination of medical illness, medications that patients with schizophrenia already take and communication gaps put them at risk for the elevated patient safety events that we observed,” Khaykin said.

“It does not surprise us that this study found various ways in which people with schizophrenia were not receiving optimum health care,” said Chris Koyanagi, policy director at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, in Washington.

“We hear anecdotal reports from individuals that their primary care providers and medical specialists do not always listen to their physical complaints seriously, but write them off as part of their mental illness,” she said.

Source: Health Behavior News Service

Hospital Injuries among Schizophrenia Patients

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Hospital Injuries among Schizophrenia Patients. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 17, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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