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Admission patterns in a psychiatric intensive care unit in Ireland: A longitudinal follow-up

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

S. Raaj, S. Navanathan, B. Matti, A. Bhagawan, P. Twomey, J. Lally, R. Browne

Original languageEnglish
JournalIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Accepted/In press2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Objective: This study aims to describe the course of admission and clinical characteristics of admissions to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the Phoenix Care Centre (PCC), Dublin, Ireland. Methods: This retrospective chart study was conducted at the PCC, Dublin, Ireland. The cohort included all admission episodes (n = 91 complete data) over a three-year study period between January 2014 and January 2017. Results: The mean age of admitted cases was 37.1 (s.d. = 11.3; range 18-63). The mean length of stay (LOS) was 59.3 days (s.d. = 61.0; median 39.5 days). All patients were admitted under Mental Health Act legislation. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was used in 61% (n = 55) of the admissions. A diagnosis of acute psychotic disorder (B =-1.027, p = 0.003, 95% CI:-1.691,-0.363) was associated with reduced LOS in PICU. Conclusion: Our study describes the cohort of patients admitted as being predominantly male, younger-aged, single, having a diagnosis of schizophrenia and being legally detained. The primary indication for referral is risk of assault, which highlights the need for the intensive and secure treatment model that a PICU can provide.

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