The association between serious psychological distress and emergency department utilization among young adults in the USA

Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.54). 06/2011; 47(6):939-47. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-011-0401-9
Source: PubMed


Psychological problems could lead to several adverse health outcomes and were strongly correlated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. In addition, patients treated in EDs were vulnerable to psychological problems. We therefore examined the population-level association between serious psychological distress (SPD) and emergency department (ED) use among young adults in the USA. We also studied the additive effects of SPD, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption on the ED presentation.
The study sample contains 16,873 individuals, using data from the National Health Interview Survey, from 2004 to 2006. Bivariate analyses with chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses are performed.
Young adults having SPD were 2.05 times more likely to go to an ED. People having SPD and being a current smoker were 2.52 times more likely to use services in an ED. However, people having SPD and being a heavy drinker did not have a significantly elevated risk of ED use.
An association between SPD and ED use among US young adults is established in this study. Attempts to decrease excess ED use and the development of strategies to improve mental health among young adults are needed to improve patient health and reduce the health-care burden of high costs and deteriorating ED care quality.

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    • "It is a marker of the severity of symptoms for major depression and anxiety disorders and a diagnostic criterion for post-traumatic stress disorder (Knapp et al. 2007). Because of its association with certain psychiatric disorders (Knapp et al. 2007; Organisation mondiale de la santé 2006; Phillips 2009) and with the use of mental health services (Gudmundsdottir and Vilhjalmsson 2010; Koopmans et al. 2005; Lin et al. 2012; Svensson et al. 2009), psychological distress is used as an indicator of population mental health by public health institutions worldwide (Delorme et al. 2005; Herman et al. 2005). In adults, the annual prevalence of psychological distress ranges from 10% in Australia (Chittleborough et al. 2011) to 21% in Canada (Caron and Liu 2011) and 27% in Japan (Sakurai et al. 2010), Great Britain (Benzeval and Judge 2001) and Belgium (Levecque et al. 2009). "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Individuals with both physical and mental health problems may have elevated levels of emergency department (ED) service utilization either for index conditions or for associated comorbidities. This study examines the use of ED services by Medicaid beneficiaries with comorbid diabetes and schizophrenia, a dyad with particularly high levels of clinical complexity. Methods Retrospective cohort analysis of claims data for Medicaid beneficiaries with both schizophrenia and diabetes from fourteen Southern states was compared with patients with diabetes only, schizophrenia only, and patients with any diagnosis other than schizophrenia and diabetes. Key outcome variables for individuals with comorbid schizophrenia and diabetes were ED visits for diabetes, mental health-related conditions, and other causes. Results Medicaid patients with comorbid diabetes and schizophrenia had an average number of 7.5 ED visits per year, compared to the sample Medicaid population with neither diabetes nor schizophrenia (1.9 ED visits per year), diabetes only (4.7 ED visits per year), and schizophrenia only (5.3 ED visits per year). Greater numbers of comorbidities (over and above diabetes and schizophrenia) were associated with substantial increases in diabetes-related, mental health-related and all-cause ED visits. Most ED visits in all patients, but especially in patients with more comorbidities, were for causes other than diabetes or mental health-related conditions. Conclusion Most ED utilization by individuals with diabetes and schizophrenia is for increasing numbers of comorbidities rather than the index conditions. Improving care in this population will require management of both index conditions as well as comorbid ones.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Schizophrenia Research
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Serious psychological distress (SPD) is an understudied health topic. When studied, estimates for minority groups are compared to that of non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic whites are heterogeneous, and comprise individuals from Europe, North Africa or the Middle East. The objectives of this study are to estimate and compare the sex- and age-adjusted prevalence of SPD first by nativity status and then by region of birth (Europe, Middle East and Russia) while controlling for potential confounders. Methods: The sample consisted of 196,483 participants, 18 years of age or older in the National Health Interview Survey (2000-2010). To measure SPD, Kessler's K6 Likert scale was used. Individuals with scores greater than or equal to 13 were considered to have SPD. Results: The age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of SPD was 3 % for foreign-born non-Hispanic whites. Of this, estimates were 6 % for those from the Middle East, 3 % for Europe and 2 % for Russia (p = 0.00). In the fully adjusted multivariable model, foreign-born non-Hispanic whites from the Middle East were more likely (OR = 1.76; 95 % CI = 1.01, 3.04) to report SPD when compared to US-born non-Hispanic whites. Within the foreign-born population, non-Hispanic whites from the Middle East were more than twice as likely to report SPD (OR = 2.43; 95 % CI = 1.15, 5.14) compared to foreign-born non-Hispanic whites from Europe after controlling for confounders. Conclusions: This study's findings will help researchers understand which subgroups within non-Hispanic whites suffer most from SPD, which will facilitate tailored prevention intervention efforts.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Social Psychiatry
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