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Disposition of emergency department patients with psychiatric comorbidity: results from the 2004 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
  1. S Kunen1,2,
  2. C Prejean1,
  3. B Gladney1,3,
  4. D Harper2,
  5. C V Mandry2
  1. 1Louisiana State University Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  2. 2Earl K Long Medical Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  3. 3Baton Rouge General Medical Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor S Kunen
 LSU Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Earl K Long Medical Center, 5825 Airline Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70806, USA; profsk{at}hotmail.com

Abstract

Background: Few emergency department (ED) studies have examined how psychiatric comorbidity relates to hospitalisation decisions.

Methods: We assessed the relationship of psychiatric comorbidity to hospitalisation decisions among ED patients in the 2004 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Results: Patients with psychiatric comorbidity were five times more likely to be hospitalised than patients with a single psychiatric diagnosis. The most frequent psychiatric comorbidities involved substance use disorders (SUDs).

Conclusions: Psychiatric disorders are underdiagnosed among ED patients. We believe that this underdiagnosis may be partly responsible for the high hospitalisation rates of ED patients with SUDs

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none declared

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