Determinants and Outcomes of Youth Psychiatry Readmission (DETOUR)

Nearly 20% of hospitalizations for youth aged 18 years or younger are due to mental illness. Psychiatric hospitalizations are costly to the health care system,
accounting for one-third of all youth mental health expenditures.

In addition to the health care costs, hospitalized youth tend to have substantial emotional distress, function loss, and lower life quality; families have added stress; and mental health professionals report burnout. Despite the considerable costs, there has been limited research on determinants and health outcomes associated with psychiatric readmission in Canada.

Recruiting children and youth from Grand River Hospital (Kitchener) and McMaster Children’s Hospital (Hamilton) we aim to:

  • Identify multi-level determinants of readmission: individual, clinical, family, and community
  • Document experiences with health care services during and after hospitalization
  • Examine trajectories of psychosocial outcomes (e.g., quality of life) for both youth who have been readmitted and those who have not
  • Compare and contrast the patterns of psychiatric service use for youth who have been readmitted with those who have not

Understanding and identifying youth at risk for readmission has the potential to improve care for youth and families, with the aim of reducing readmission rates over time. The findings from the DETOUR study have the potential to improve youth mental health outcomes and contribute to a reduction in overall health care costs in Canada.