Influence of superstition on the date of hospital discharge and medical cost in Japan: Retrospective and descriptive study

K. Hira, T. Fukui, A. Endoh, M. Rahman, M. Maekawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To determine the influence of superstition about Taian (a lucky day)-Butsumetsu (an unlucky day) on decision to leave hospital. To estimate the costs of the effect of this superstition. Design. Retrospective and descriptive study. Setting. University hospital in Kyoto, Japan. Subjects. Patients who were discharged alive from Kyoto University Hospital from 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1995. Main outcome measures. Mean number, age, and hospital stay of patients discharged on each day of six day cycle. Results. The mean number, age, and hospital stay of discharged patients were highest on Taian and lowest on Butsumetsu (25.8 v 19.3 patients/day, P = 0.0001; 43.9 v 41.4 years, P = 0.0001; and 43.1 v 33.3 days, P = 0.0001 respectively). The effect of this difference on the hospital's costs was estimated to be 7.4 million yen (£31,000). Conclusion. The superstition influenced the decision to leave hospital, contributing to higher medical care costs in Japan. Although hospital stays need to be kept as short as possible to minimise costs, doctors should not ignore the possible psychological effects on patients' health caused by dismissing the superstition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1683
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume317
Issue number7174
StatePublished - Dec 26 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Superstitions
Japan
Retrospective Studies
Costs and Cost Analysis
Length of Stay
Hospital Costs
Health Care Costs
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Psychology
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Influence of superstition on the date of hospital discharge and medical cost in Japan : Retrospective and descriptive study. / Hira, K.; Fukui, T.; Endoh, A.; Rahman, M.; Maekawa, M.

In: British Medical Journal, Vol. 317, No. 7174, 26.12.1998, p. 1680-1683.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hira, K, Fukui, T, Endoh, A, Rahman, M & Maekawa, M 1998, 'Influence of superstition on the date of hospital discharge and medical cost in Japan: Retrospective and descriptive study', British Medical Journal, vol. 317, no. 7174, pp. 1680-1683.
Hira, K. ; Fukui, T. ; Endoh, A. ; Rahman, M. ; Maekawa, M. / Influence of superstition on the date of hospital discharge and medical cost in Japan : Retrospective and descriptive study. In: British Medical Journal. 1998 ; Vol. 317, No. 7174. pp. 1680-1683.
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