Objective. To study hospitalisation dynamics and territorial diversity and its determinants.
Method. Hospitalisation dynamics (prevalence and incidence) in 1997-2002 were analysed in subgroups distinguished according to sex, age and place of residence and in diagnostic subgroups. Two groups of independent variables were considered when analysing the determinants of territorial diversity: bed availability and the demographic structure of the population.
Results. Male hospitalisation is marginal (27 a year), as is hospitalisation of women over 30, and hence the more detailed analysis was conducted on the population of women aged 11-29. Within the 6 studied years prevalence of hospitalisation in this group increased by 152% with the largest increase in 25-29-year-olds (by 575%). Urban dwellers were hospitalised morefrequently than rural dwellers - 2.6 times more frequently at the onset of the observation period and 1.8 times more frequently at the end of the observation period. Hospitalisation peaks at age 17-19, both in anorectic patients and bulimic patients. Within the 6 years under study hospitalisation of anorectic patients increased by 65% and hospitalisation of bulimic patients increased by 371%. The rate of hospitalisation differs greatly with respect to territory -from 7 to 20 per 100 thousand in 2002. The demographics structure of the provinces (voivodeships) does not significantly affect the frequency of hospitalisations.
Conclusions. The typical female bias of patients treated for eating disorders is particularly high in Poland. Although urban women are hospitalised more frequently than rural women, the dynamics of increased hospitalisation are higher in the population of village women. This pattern has been observed in many countries in Europe and the USA. The present model of hospital treatment seems to be relatively ineffectivefor many patients (about one quarter of the patients were treated in general psychiatric wards and about 40% were in treatment for less than a month). Frequency of hospitalisation differs greatly from province to province (from 7.1 to 20.4 per 100 thousand in 2002). The territorial differences in rate of hospitalisation are largely determined by the availability of beds for children and adolescents and neurotic patients.