Most Emergency Department Patients With Mental Health Problems Don ’t Receive Timely Follow-up Care

Less than half of individuals who were seen in an emergency department (ED) in Ontario for a mental health –related issue had a follow-up visit with a physician within two weeks after discharge, according to astudy published today inPsychiatric Services in Advance. Those who had a substance use disorder were even less likely to have a follow-up visit with a physician during this period compared with those who did not have a substance use disorder, the study found.“Whether individuals present voluntarily because of subjective distress or involuntarily (for example, with police escort) because of acute risk, psychiatric ED visits suggest an urgent need for care,” wrote Lucy Barker, M.D., of the University of Toronto and colleagues. “[Y]et mental health– related crises cannot usually be managed in a single visit. Urgent outpatient mental health care is crucial for ongoing assessment and management and for preventing repeat visits to the ED and other negative outcomes.”Barker and colleagues accessed health data from the Ontario health system for this study. They identified all people aged 19 and older who came to an ED with a psychiatric issue but were not admitted to the hospital from April 2010 through March 2012. They next assessed how many of these patients had a follow-up visit with any physician for mental health care within 14 days of ED discharge. The final sample included 143,662 adults. Of these, 40.2% had a follow-up mental heal...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: bipolar disorder emergency department follow-up visit Lucy Barker Ontario Psychiatric Services in Advance schizophrenia serious mental illness substance use disorders Source Type: research

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