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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 40 (1998) 8, 469 - 479

New research

Trends in first admissions to a general psychiatric hospital for patients from urban and rural areas; 1980 to 1993

J. Spijker, J. van Limbeek, J.F.J. Jonkers, W. van Tilburg

In this study is examined whether the relationship found in several Dutch studies between degree of urbanization and admission rate, namely that inhabitants of an area with a higher degree of urbanization are admitted more often, also holds over a longer period. During the study period, 1980-1993, this appeared to be the case. The higher the degree of urbanization, the higher the incidence of first admissions to a general psychiatric hospital (GPH). Even the rate ratio, urban/rural, was almost constant over time. Inhabitants of 'big cities' are admitted for the first time twice as much as inhabitants of rural areas. Furthermore it turned out that during the study period the incidence of first admissions to a GPH showed a decline for inhabitants of rural areas as well as inhabitants of urbanized areas. Corrected for age and gender influences the decline for the several urbanization categories varied from 33% to 36%.