Treating revolving-door patients who have "hospitalphilia": compassion, coercion, and common sense

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Activities of Daily Living; Adult; Borderline Personality Disorder; Empathy; Female; Health Services Accessibility; *Health Services Misuse; Hospitals, Psychiatric; Humans; Interpersonal Relations; Length of Stay; Mental Disorders; Patient Care Planning; Patient Discharge; *Patient Readmission; Schizophrenia, Paranoid; Social Environment


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Treatments applicable to the frequently rehospitalized psychiatric patient--the so-called revolving-door patient--have been poorly delineated. One subgroup of these patients includes those for whom recidivism has become a way of life; they may be said to suffer from "hospitalphilia." Neither refractoriness to treatment nor noncompliance with medications explains their frequent admissions. The author presents ten clinical principles to guide treatment planning for this subgroup of patients. The principles emphasize cooperation between the patient and the treatment agencies in creating a comprehensive, consistent, and enforceable plan to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. Four treatment strategies based on the principles are outlined: unlimited access to hospitalization, a chit or voucher system, a rationing system, and an approach centered on the patient's expressed ability to avoid hospitalization.


Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1993 Feb;44(2):141-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Hospital and community psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID