Original Research

Readmissions after Pediatric Hospitalization for Suicide Ideation and Suicide Attempt


OBJECTIVE: To inform resource allocation toward a continuum of care for youth at risk of suicide, we examined unplanned 30-day readmissions after pediatric hospitalization for either suicide ideation (SI) or suicide attempt (SA).

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of a nationally representative sample of 133,516 hospitalizations for SI or SA among 6- to 17-year-olds to determine prevalence, risk factors, and characteristics of 30-day readmissions using the 2013 and 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Dataset (NRD). Risk factors for readmission were modeled using logistic regression.

RESULTS: We identified 95,354 hospitalizations for SI and 38,162 hospitalizations for SA. Readmission rates within 30 days were 8.5% for SI and SA hospitalizations. Among 30-day readmissions, more than one-third (34.1%) occurred within 7 days. Among patients with any 30-day readmission, 11% had more than one readmission within 30 days. The strongest risk factors for readmission were SI or SA hospitalization in the 30 days preceding the index SI/SA hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 3.14, 95% CI: 2.73-3.61) and hospitalization for other indications in the previous 30 days (AOR: 3.18, 95% CI: 2.67-3.78). Among readmissions, 94.5% were for a psychiatric condition and 63.4% had a diagnosis of SI or SA.

CONCLUSIONS: Quality improvement interventions to reduce unplanned 30-day readmissions among children hospitalized for SI or SA should focus on children with a recent prior hospitalization and should be targeted to the first week following hospital discharge.

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