To improve care of adolescents in mental health crisis, the role of routine follow-up calls in discharged patients with referral plans after emergency department (ED) presentation to a children's hospital was explored. Main outcome measure was patient attendance at referral sites. In 113 mental health patients with follow-up appointments, either patient/carers or corresponding referral services could be contacted. Median age was 14 years, 77% were girls, and most presentations were after self-harm/depression (61%). Eighty-three per cent (95% CI 75% to 90%) were compliant with the discharge plan without prompting from the ED staff. Fourteen per cent (95% CI 8% to 22%) did not comply after being called by ED staff, and only 3% (95% CI 1% to 7%) were persuaded to attend their outpatient care after being prompted by ED staff. Routine follow-up calls for adolescent mental health patients after ED care are not warranted in all settings.
- mental health
- emergency department
- emergency care systems
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval The study was approved as an audit by the ethics committee at Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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