Sex differences in functional outcome after hospitalisation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

S. Tully, S. Bucci, Y. Alkotob, G. Penn, K. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aims of this review were to determine: i) how many studies have examined global functioning outcomes from a psychiatric inpatient stay disaggregated by sex; and ii) if women have worse global functioning outcomes than men following an admission. A systematic review following PRISMA guidance and meta-analysis were conducted. Thirty-six studies met eligibility criteria for inclusion in the review. Of these, eleven papers provided sufficient data to conduct a meta-analysis of global functioning outcomes comparing men and women. Overall, differences between men and women were small. The meta-analysis revealed either no difference or a small significant difference in global functioning outcomes in favor of women, contrary to expectations. As many as 93% of otherwise eligible studies had to be excluded for not disaggregating data by sex. Women may have slightly superior functioning outcomes than men suggesting that inpatient services should be more heavily focused on applying principles of gender-informed care for men as well as women. The finding that so many potential studies had to be excluded for not reporting sex differences is consistent with other mental health literature and highlights a need for better reporting practices in relation to sex differences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date6 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Feb 2023


  • sex differences
  • inpatient
  • gender-informed cares
  • outcomes
  • functioning


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