Mental Health Conditions Associated With Increased Hospital Visits

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Among patients with breast or prostate cancers, mental health conditions are associated with increased outpatient visits, hospital admissions.
Among patients with breast or prostate cancers, mental health conditions are associated with increased outpatient visits, hospital admissions.

Among patients with breast or prostate cancers, mental health conditions are associated with increased outpatient visits, hospital admissions, and length of hospitalization, according to findings that will be presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium.1

To evaluate the impact of mental health comorbidities on health care cost and utilization, investigators analyzed data from non-elderly patients with invasive breast or prostate cancer who were diagnosed between 2007 and 2014 and included in the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System. On average, 23,800 and 13,300 were diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer annually, respectively.

Mood and adjustment disorders were strong predictors of the annual number of outpatient visits, hospital admissions, and bed days for both patients with breast and those with prostate cancer.

Compared with patients with no mental health comorbidities, patients with breast cancer and a mood or adjustment disorder comorbidity had 9.4% more outpatient visits, 2.3% more hospital admissions, and 5.4% more days hospitalized. Similarly, men with prostate cancer and mood or adjustment disorders had 6.7% more outpatient visits, 2.9% more hospital admissions, and 8.4% longer hospitalizations than those without such disorders.

The researchers found that mood and adjustment disorders were associated with an additional 4800 and 2600 admission per year for patients with breast and prostate cancer, respectively; days in the hospital each year increased by 72,000 and 65,000, respectively, when mental health conditions were present.

Mood and adjustment disorders increased costs by $9000 per year for patients with breast cancer and $8000 per year for a man with prostate cancer.

Reference

  1. Mental health conditions contribute to increased cancer care-related costs, hospital visits for patients with breast and prostate cancers [news release]. Alexandria, VA: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); February 27, 2017. https://www.asco.org/about-asco/press-center/news-releases/mental-health-conditions-contribute-increased-cancer-care. Accessed March 1, 2017.

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