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BackgroundConsultation-liaison psychiatrists are often asked to evaluate patients who refuse discharge from a medical facility. Literature to guide clinicians on the management of these patients is very limited.ObjectiveThis article seeks to explain this phenomenon through a case series, provide a differential diagnosis of patients who request to stay in the hospital, as well as provide clinicians with direction in the management of these difficult situations.MethodsWe discuss a case series of 3 patients treated at a large academic medical center, who refused discharge, discuss potential differential diagnoses, and provide management recommendations to guide clinicians.DiscussionProviding care for a patient who refuses discharge can present several dilemmas for the treatment provider. Additionally, patients who refuse discharge may face emotional, physical, and financial costs secondary to continued unnecessary medical hospitalization. A variety of psychiatric conditions may contribute to a patient׳s desire to stay in the hospital.ConclusionsPatients who refuse medical discharge can present unique challenges for hospital-based medical providers as well as consultation psychiatrists who care for these patients. Careful consideration of diagnostic etiologies as well as coordination of care across the treatment team may be required to manage these unique and challenging cases.
Journal: Psychosomatics - Volume 57, Issue 1, January–February 2016, Pages 18–24