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Psychiatry Investig > Volume 20(5); 2023 > Article
Psychiatry Investigation 2023;20(5):461-470.
DOI:    Published online May 25, 2023.
Diagnostic Stability in Psychiatric Patients From Hospital Admission to Discharge: A 10-Year Retrospective Study
Furu Liu  , Menghui Gao, Qiongqiong Wu  , Meiqi Yan  , Renrong Wu  , Ping Shao  , Jing Huang 
Department of Psychiatry, National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, and National Center for Mental Disorders, China National Technology Institute on Mental Disorders, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Hunan, China
Correspondence: Ping Shao ,Tel: +86-13755112445, Email:
Correspondence: Jing Huang ,Tel: +86-15874290980, Email:
Received: December 4, 2022   Revised: February 24, 2023   Accepted: March 8, 2023   Published online: May 25, 2023
This study aimed to evaluate the consistency or stability of mental disorders diagnosed in the psychiatry ward setting, investigate factors associated with consistency, and observe the disease distribution over the decade.
A total of 20,359 psychiatric inpatients were included in this retrospective study from June 2011 to December 2020. Diagnoses from the first admission to discharge were evaluated to determine the diagnostic consistency during hospitalization. Readmissions were selected as the subgroup, whose first and last discharge diagnoses were compared to analyze the relatively long-term diagnostic stability. Demographic and clinical characteristics were collected to identify predictors of diagnostic discrepancy.
From 2011–2020, the hospitalization rate decreased from 42.7% to 20.7% for schizophrenia and grew from 13.3% to 23.8% for depression. Diagnoses were retained by 92.6% of patients at their first discharge diagnosis, ranging from 100% for disorders of psychological development to 16.3% for unspecified mental disorders. About 33.9% of diagnostic conversions were to bipolar disorder in patients having inconsistent diagnoses. However, among rehospitalizations, the diagnostic stability notably dropped to 71.3%. For rehospitalizations, mood disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders were relatively stable diagnoses categories, with 72.6% to 76.7% of patients receiving the same diagnosis, although results of specified diagnoses within these categories ranged from 5.9% to 91.0%. Except for mood disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, the diagnoses of all other categories were below 70%. Long lengths of hospitalization and old age were associated with short-term diagnosis alterations.
Longitudinal follow-up and integration of multiple aspects of information are essential for accurate diagnosis.
Key words   First-admisson sample; Diagnostic stability; Diagnostic conversion; Mental disorder distribution


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