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Japanese Specialists Attitudes Toward Scheduled Care in Emergency Psychiatric Units: Development of a Care Pathway

Background: Over 90 percent of psychiatric inpatients in Japan are discharged within a three-month period. Further efforts to reduce the duration of inpatient care are needed. Medical pathways that assure scheduled care are uncommon in psychiatry, and we collected the opinions of specialists regarding a tentative standard pathway.

Methods and Findings: Two target groups that included 114 certified hospitals with an emergency psychiatric unit and 80 psychiatry departments of universities were requested to fill two tables for scheduled care for an example case vignette. The staff at 25 hospitals and 14 universities replied to our questionnaire. Many of the responses overlapped between the two groups. Their answers were used to plan a medical schedule with the aim of discharging patients within a shorter period of time.

Conclusion: Despite several study limitations, we proposed a provisional pathway based on the agreements between the two groups. Standard psychiatric care pathways should become available in Japan.


Toshihiro Horiguchi

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