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Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 14, Issue 3, 2011. Pages: 149-156
Published Online: 30 September 2011

Copyright © 2011 ICMPE.


 

Costs of Intensive Psychiatric Care for Treatment-resistant Minors

Tarja Paakkonen,1* Jari Tiihonen,2 Heikki Paakkonen,3 Tero Hallikainen,4 Olli-Pekka Ryynänen,5 Juha Kinnunen6

1RN, MHSc, PhD student, Director of Nursing, Department of Social and Health Management, University of Eastern Finland and Department of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
2MD, Professor, Department of Forensic Psychiatry, University of  Eastern Finland Kuopio. Research Professor, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
3RN, PhD, Director of Nursing, Prehospital Emergency Care, Emergency and Intensive Care, University hospital of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
4MD, Chief physician, Department of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
5MD, Professor, Department of Public Health and General Practice, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6RN, PhD, Professor, Dean, Department of Social and Health Management, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

* Correspondence to: Mrs Tarja Paakkonen, Niuvanniemen sairaala, Niuvankuja 65, 70240 Kuopio, Finland.
Tel. +358 40 581 1315.
Fax: +358 17203494
E-mail: tarja.paakkonen@niuva.fi 

Source of Funding: None declared.

Abstract

Mental health problems in childhood and adolescence result in high costs to society..  The study is aimed to evaluate the costs of mental services use of 52 treatment-resistant minors at the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of the Niuvanniemi Hospital, in Finland, and the costs of the mental health services used by these patients before their referral to this unit. This study evaluated the cost of daily bed charges for treatment-resistant minors. The data included the case histories of 52 patients in an intensive psychiatric care unit. The mean duration of the intensive psychiatric care unit treatment was twelve months. The average cost was 367,150 €/patient. Fifty-one per cent of the minors were discharged to less intensive mental health services after the intensive psychiatric care. The initial costs of intensive psychiatric treatment are presently high in the short term, however, benefits may be achieved over time.

 

Background: Mental health problems in childhood and adolescence result in high costs to society. Despite the relevance of these problems, there are still relatively few economic evaluations of this domain, in particular the evaluation of the costs of treatment-resistant minors.

Aim of the Study: The study is aimed to evaluate the costs of mental services use of 52 treatment-resistant minors at the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of the Niuvanniemi Hospital, in Kupio, Finland, and the costs of the mental health services used by these patients before their referral to this unit.

Methods: The data were collected from case history files of minors (N\kern 2dd =\kern 2dd 52) who were directed to the intensive psychiatric care unit between 2004 and 2007. The data included information of the use of earlier specialised medical psychiatric care. The study evaluated the cost of daily bed charges for treatment-resistant minors.

Results: The mean duration of the intensive psychiatric care unit treatment was twelve months. The average cost was 367,150/patient. Fifty-one per cent of the minors were discharged to less intensive mental health services after the intensive psychiatric care.

Conclusions: The costs of intensive psychiatric treatment are currently high. Benefits may be achieved over time. Further research should monitor and analyse the benefit of such expensive treatment on the outcomes of treatment-resistant patients over time, an investment in the minors' future, that ultimately benefits society.


Received 17 March 2010; accepted 23 August 2011

Copyright 2011 ICMPE