Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Mental illness-related disparities in length of stay: Algorithm choice influences results

Susan M. Frayne, MD, MPH, et al.


Figure 2. Effect of sequential data assembly steps and data cleaning stages on fiscal year 2003 number of inpatient days. MHC = mental health condition,  = mean length of stay (LOS) (MHC Yes) – mean LOS (MHC No).

Researchers often use Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data to understand the care veterans receive when admitted to a VHA hospital. However, these data must be used correctly. We found that patients with mental health conditions consistently have longer average length of stay when admitted but the choice of algorithm used to calculate length of stay from VHA data affects conclusions about the size of this difference. Our findings will help researchers properly tailor algorithms for calculating length of stay. This will lead to more accurate results in future studies used to guide strategic planning initiatives to improve VHA inpatient healthcare delivery.

Volume 47 Number 8, 2010
   Pages 709 — 718


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 47, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Frayne SM, Berg E, Holmes TH, Laungani K, Berlowitz DR, Miller DR, Pogach L, Jackson VW, Moos R. Mental illness-related disparities in length of stay: Algorithm choice influences results. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010:47(8): 709-18.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD/2009.08.0112
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:04 AM

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