Adult General Psychiatric Patients Served in Nebraska’s State Hospitals: Patient Characteristics and Needs



Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Kate Watkins, Steve Ryan, Jim Harvey, Blaine Shaffer

Community Mental Health Journal

April 2014



This study identified the characteristics and needs of adults discharged from state psychiatric hospitals. A retrospective analysis of data on patients discharged from adult psychiatric units of three state psychiatric hospitals in Nebraska 2005–2008 was conducted. Diagnoses were classified into six groups, and Axis III data from the state psychiatric hospitals provided information about medical comorbidity. Only 12 % of admitted patients had private insurance or could pay for their own treatment. Almost all discharged patients (95 %) had a diagnosis of serious mental illness, and substance abuse (68 %) and personality disorder (68 %) were common, as were significant general health problems. Fourteen percent of patients used emergency services five or more times during the study period. Greater efforts must be made to diagnose, treat, and monitor major somatic illnesses and to better understand the factors that contribute to readmission and emergency service use in this population.