International Psychogeriatrics

Research Article

Factors predicting discharge of Huntington's disease patients from a neuropsychiatry unit

Akshya Vasudeva1 c1, Tracy Palmera2, Alan Thomasa1, David Burna3 and William Barkera2

a1 Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Wolfson Research Centre, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

a2 Walkergate Park for Neurorehabilitation and Neuropsychiatry, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

a3 Clinical Ageing Research Unit, Newcastle University, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

ABSTRACT

Background: We explored phenotypic parameters of people with Huntington's disease who had been admitted to a psychiatric unit and then discharged, with a view to determining prognostic factors for discharge to higher levels of care.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 19 patients admitted to a psychiatric unit with Huntington's disease. Data on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) of behavior and function, global assessment of presence of depression and dementia as well as discharge outcomes were collated. Appropriate parametric and non-parametric statistical tests were applied.

Results: Fourteen patients were discharged to accommodation with the same level of care versus five who were discharged to a higher level of care. Having poor functioning in terms of activities of daily living predicted discharge to an increased level of care. Being depressed or having dementia did not forecast poor outcome. The total duration of admission was not related to UHDRS parameters.

Conclusions: Poor functioning on admission independently predicts the need for higher levels of care for patients who are admitted to a neuropsychiatric ward.

(Received September 23 2009)

(Revised October 26 2009)

(Revised November 13 2009)

(Accepted November 18 2009)

(Online publication January 20 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Akshya Vasudev, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Wolfson Research Centre, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, U.K. Phone: +44 (0)191 4455212; Fax: +44 (0)191 4456685. Email: akshya.vasudev@ncl.ac.uk.