To determine the length of stay (LOS) of alcoholic and non-alcoholic patients, all consecutive admissions to medical and surgical departments of a general hospital in Lübeck, Germany, were registered over a period of six months. The study sample comprised 625 medical and 661 surgical patients aged 18 to 64 years, 42% female. Alcohol abuse and dependence were detected using an expert interview (Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry, SCAN). The median LOS of patients with alcohol abuse or dependence was equal to that of the other patients (Z = 9 days). Differences occurred in the surgical clinic where alcohol abusers as well as alcohol dependent patients stayed longer than the others. There was significant trend in the medical clinic towards longer LOS for alcohol abusers and shorter LOS for alcohol dependent patients compared to the other medical patients respectively. Patients suffering from infections, tumors or gastrointestinal diseases had significantly increased LOS if having an alcohol problem. In conclusion, there is no general elongation of LOS in alcoholic patients. Differences occur if single departments or somatic or psychiatric subgroups of patients are regarded. However, high concentrations of alcohol-related diseases in these settings stress the importance of preventative measures.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Length of stay of patients with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence in internal medicine and surgery
|Versicherungsmedizin / herausgegeben von Verband der Lebensversicherungs-Unternehmen e.V. und Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e.V
|Number of pages
|Published - 01.04.1998
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)