Differential Effect of Community Rehabilitation Reform on Hospitalizations of Patients with Chronic Psychotic Disorders With and Without Substance Use Disorder, Israel, 1991-2016.Adm Policy Ment Health. 2021 03; 48(2):354-362.AP
The co-occurrence of schizophrenia and substance use disorder (SUD) is clinically challenging and increasingly prevalent. This study compares trends in hospitalization characteristics of chronic psychotic patients with and without SUD in Israel, before and after introduction of the Community Rehabilitation of Persons with Mental Disability Law in 2000. The National Psychiatric Case Registry provided data on 18,684 adults with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorders, hospitalized in 1991-2016 (at least once in 2010-2015). Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to measure the effect (and interactions) of group (patients with and without co-occurring disorders (COD)), time-period (Period1: 1991-2000, Period2: 2001-2009, Period3: 2010-2016) and age, on hospitalization measures-average length of stay (LOS), annual number of hospitalizations and hospitalization days. Among non-COD patients hospitalized in all three periods, LOS declined by half from 133.3 days in Period1 to 63.2 in Period3, and the annual number of hospitalizations increased slightly from 0.45 to 0.56. Among COD patients, LOS declined moderately from 82.7 days to 58.3 days, while annual hospitalizations increased dramatically from 0.56 to 0.82. The annual average number of hospitalization days/capita declined from 49.7 in Period1 to 26.3 in Period3 among non-COD patients, yet remained virtually unchanged among COD patients-39.6 and 37.4 in the two periods, respectively. Since introduction of the law, a significant improvement in hospitalization characteristics of chronic psychotic non-COD patients has been noted, whereas the situation worsened somewhat for COD patients. Community rehabilitation services for COD patients in Israel have yet to develop as a suitable alternative to hospitalization, and additional rehabilitation services are urgently needed.