Sociodemographic analysis of psychiatric emergency services in a state with greater than average veteran density

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Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of psychiatric patients who utilize the emergency department (ED) of a hospital in the Northeast part of the state of Alabama as a resource for treatment. The results of this study have the potential to help healthcare providers in early detection and intervention strategies. One objective of this research is to expose the prevalence of mental health emergencies and the importance of management of psychiatric crises in the state of Alabama and the nation at large. Methods: This study analyzed regression model data collected from an emergency department in the Northeast region of Alabama from May 2010 to July 2010 of all patients presenting with mental health-related issues. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to analyze descriptive statistics. Results: During this three-month period, 502 psychiatric patients were seen in the emergency department. A random sample of 218 patients was used for statistical analysis. The average age was 36.7 years, and 54.6 percent of the patients were female. Mood disorders were the most frequent diagnosis with 41.3 percent, followed by anxiety disorders with 37.6 percent, suicidal ideation in 10.2 percent and psychosis in 10.2 percent. Suicidal ideation was present in 49.1 percent of patients, and more were discharged from the hospital than were admitted (47.2 percent). Conclusions: This research demonstrates the importance of understanding the population served, as well as the characteristics of the care delivered to psychiatric patients seeking emergency services. This research also revealed the need for further attention to developing strategies that could provide greater support to the ever-increasing demand for mental healthcare.

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AAO Journal





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This article was published in AAO Journal, Volume 22, Issue 2, Pages 36-41.

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Copyright © 2012.

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