Hannover study on long-stay hospitalization – part II: Characteristics and care conditions of long-stay hospitalization in cases of chronic mental illness
BACKGROUND: Long-stay hospitalization is often a consequence of insufficient care structures. This article examines the characteristics and care conditions of long-stay hospitalization (LSH) in an urban area in Germany. METHODS: Extensive data of patients in the urban catchment area of the Medical School of Hannover, capital of Lower Saxony, were evaluated during a 10 years period. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Community psychiatric efforts certainly help to reduce long-stay hospitalization, but cannot fully prevent it. Reference figures are given for comparable urbanized areas: consequently 500 chronically mentally ill persons per 100.000 inhabitants must be expected, 20% of which must be considered as long stay hospitalized according to a given definition. We estimate 250 places per 100.000 inhabitants to be required for institutionalised outpatient care, further 30 places for day clinic and full-time in-patient treatment and 40 places for residential home treatment. We suggest these results as a guidance for psychiatric planning in comparable communities.