Association between continuity of care and subsequent hospitalization and mortality in patients with mood disorders: Results from the Korea National Health Insurance cohort

Woorim Kim, Suk Yong Jang, Tae Hoon Lee, Joo Eun Lee, Eun Cheol Park

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Concerns have been raised about the loss of treatment continuity in unipolar and bipolar depressive disorder patients as continuity of care (COC) may be associated with patient outcomes. This study aimed to examine the relationship between COC and subsequent hospitalization, all-cause mortality, and suicide mortality in individuals with unipolar and bipolar disorder. Data were from the National Health Insurance (NHI) cohort, 2002 to 2013. Study participants included individuals first diagnosed with unipolar depressive disorder or bipolar affective disorder. The independent variable was COC for the first year of outpatient visits after diagnosis, measured using the usual provider of care (UPC) index. The dependent variables were hospitalization in the year after COC measurement, all-cause mortality, and suicide mortality. Analysis was conducted using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards survival regression. A total of 48,558 individuals were analyzed for hospitalization and 48,947 for all-cause and suicide mortality. Compared to the low COC group, the medium [odds ratio (OR) 0.30, 95 percent confidence interval (95% CI) 0.19–0.47] and the high COC group (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.09–0.21) showed statistically significant decreased odds of hospitalization. Additionally, lower likelihoods of suicide death were found in the high (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.16–0.74) compared to the low COC group. The results infer an association between COC after first diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar depressive disorder and hospitalization and suicide mortality, suggesting the potential importance of treatment continuity in improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207740
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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