Journal Article Spatial analysis for regional behavior of patients with mental disorders in Japan

Takahashi, Kunihiko  ,  Tachimori, Hisateru  ,  Kan, Chiemi  ,  Nishi, Daisuke  ,  Okumura, Yasuyuki  ,  Kato, Naohiro  ,  Takeshima, Tadashi

71 ( 4 )  , pp.254 - 261 , 2017-04 , Wiley
Aim: The aim of our study was to clarify the geographical movement of patients treated in psychiatric facilities, which can provide important information on the resources and health-care system of psychiatric services. Methods: We conducted an analysis of nationwide data on psychiatric patients, collected as an additional survey to the conventional ‘630 survey’ in 2014. For the 151 848 initially admitted inpatients during 6 months and the 144 401 outpatients on a specific day, we identified whether a patient was admitted to a psychiatric facility located in the same medical area as his/her residence. We estimated percentages of being from (i) within the medical area, (ii) within the prefecture, and (iii) outside the prefecture, using a Bayesian statistical approach for each secondary medical area. Results: The inpatients moved across wider areas than did the outpatients. Almost all inpatients and outpatients received their medical treatment at hospitals/clinics within their prefecture of residence. Conclusion: The current mental health medical system in Japan has been operating according to prefecture unit; thus, it may be appropriate to plan a medical system at a prefectural level.

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