Publication Details

F. Xu, M. Austin, N. Reilly, L. Hilder & E. A. Sullivan, "Length of stay for mental and behavioural disorders postpartum in primiparous mothers: A cohort study", International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11 4 (2014) 3540-3552.


Background: Previous research showed that there was a significant increase in psychiatric hospital admission of postpartum mothers. The aim of the current study is to describe the length of hospital stays and patient days for mental and behavioural disorders (MBD) of new mothers in the first year after birth. Method: This was a cohort study based on linked population data between the New South Wales (NSW) Midwives Data Collection (MDC) and the NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC). The study population included primiparous mothers aged from 18 to 44 who gave birth between 1 July 2000 and 31 December 2005. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to describe the length of hospital stay for MBD. Results: For principal diagnoses of MBD, the entire length of hospital stay in the first year postpartum was 11.38 days (95% CI: 10.70-12.06) for mean and 6 days (95% CI: 5.87-6.13) for median. The length of hospital stay per admission was 8.47 days (95% CI: 8.03-8.90) for mean and 5 days (95% CI: 4.90-5.10) for median. There were 5,129 patient days of hospital stay per year for principal diagnoses of postpartum MBD in new mothers between 1 July 2000 and 31 December 2005 in NSW, Australia. Conclusions: MBD, especially unipolar depressions, adjustment disorders, acute psychotic episodes, and schizophrenia, or schizophrenia-like disorders during the first year after birth, placed a significant burden on hospital services due to long hospital stays and large number of admissions.



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