Documented and Undocumented Psychiatric Conditions Affect the Length of Stay and Discharge Disposition Following Total Hip Arthroplasty

Published:December 09, 2021DOI:



      Despite increased efforts toward patient optimization, some patients have undocumented conditions that can affect costs and quality metrics for institutions and physicians. This study evaluates the effect of documented and undocumented psychiatric conditions on length of stay (LOS) and discharge disposition following total hip arthroplasty (THA).


      A retrospective review of all primary THAs from 2015 to 2020 at a high-volume academic orthopedic specialty hospital was conducted. Patients were separated into 3 cohorts: patients with a documented psychiatric diagnosis (+Dx), patients without a documented psychiatric diagnosis but with an actively prescribed psychiatric medication (−Dx), and patients without a psychiatric diagnosis or medication (control). Patient demographics, LOS, and discharge disposition were assessed.


      A total of 5309 patients were included; 3048 patients had no recorded psychiatric medications (control); 2261 patients took at least 1 psychiatric medication, of which 1513 (65.9%) and 748 (34.1%) patients were put in the −Dx and +Dx cohorts, respectively. American Society of Anesthesiologists class differed between groups (P < .001). The −Dx and +Dx groups had increased LOS (3.15 ± 2.37 [75.6 ± 56.9] and 3.12 ± 2.27 [74.9 ± 54.5] vs 2.42 ± 1.70 [57.6 ± 40.8] days (hours), P < .001) and were more likely to be discharged to a secondary facility (23.0% and 21.7% vs 13.8%, P < .001) than the control group. Outcomes did not significantly differ between the −Dx and +Dx cohorts.


      Most THA patients’ psychiatric diagnoses were not documented. The presence of psychiatric medications was associated with longer LOS and a greater likelihood of discharge to secondary facilities. This has implications for both cost and quality metrics. Review of medications can help identify and optimize these patients before surgery.

      Level III Evidence

      Retrospective Cohort Study.


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