|Basic InformationLookupsLatest News|Ketamine Beneficial for Certain Patients With Mood DisordersPatients Reluctant to Comply With Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentPatients Often Reject Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentStudy Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke RiskAnxiety, Depression May Up Mortality Risk for Some CancersMental Health May Affect Chances Against CancerObamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, AddictionsMany With Mental Illness Miss Out on HIV TestsPlastic Surgeons Often Miss Patients' Mental DisordersMortality Risk in T2DM Increased With Depression and/or AnxietyMost Smokers With Mental Illness Want to Kick the HabitRate of Psychiatric Drug Use About 16 Percent in U.S. Adults1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: StudyFor People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be InvaluableHealth Tip: Thinking About Psychological Therapy?Heart Rate, BP in Male Teens Tied to Later Risk for Psych DisordersU.S. Psychiatric Patients Face Long Waits in ERsAre Some Blood Pressure Meds Linked to Depression, Bipolar Risk?Study Links Pot Use to Relapse in Psychosis PatientsInternet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: StudyPsychiatric Patients Face Longer Waits in ERParents' Psychiatric Issues May Adversely Affect Some ChildrenAntipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study FindsInfertility Patients' Mental Health Problems Often UnaddressedStudy of Teen Brains Offers Clues to Timing of Mental IllnessHealth Tip: Take Steps to Stay Mentally HealthyAre 'Workaholics' Prone to OCD, Anxiety?Mentally Ill Still Gain Illegal Possession of Guns, Study ShowsMental Disorders Were Most Costly in U.S. in 2013For New Antipsychotic Users, Dose, Duration Impact MortalityNo Link Between Anti-Smoking Drugs, Mental Health Issues: StudyU.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in IraqQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Psychiatric Patients Face Longer Waits in ER
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Sep 13th 2016
TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients seeking help for mental health problems wait hours longer in the emergency department than other patients do, a new study finds.
People with mental health problems are also six times more likely to be transferred to another facility instead of receiving treatment at the hospital, the researchers added.
"Previous research shows that patients in the ER often experience lengthy wait times, but our new study shows that psychiatric patients wait disproportionately longer than other patients -- sometimes for several hours -- only to ultimately be discharged or transferred elsewhere," said study author Dr. Jane Zhu.
Zhu is with the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
The study included data from more than 200,000 ER visits in the United States. The visits occurred between 2002 and 2011.
The average length of ER stay for psychiatric patients admitted for observation was longer than for non-psychiatric patients: 355 minutes vs. 279 minutes. This was also true for people being transferred to other facilities: 312 minutes for psychiatric patients vs. 195 minutes for non-psychiatric patients.
For those discharged, the difference wasn't as large. Psychiatric patients waited 189 minutes. Other patients waited 144 minutes, the study authors reported.
For patients eventually admitted to the hospital, the average length of stay in the ER for psychiatric patients wasn't much different from non-psychiatric patients. But only 18 percent of psychiatric patients were in this category, the researchers found.
During the study period, the annual number of adult emergency room visits rose by 30 percent in the United States. Psychiatric ER visits increased much more, by about 55 percent. Alcohol-related disorders made up a growing percentage of psychiatric ER visits, the study revealed.
Cutbacks at state and county mental health hospitals have forced more psychiatric patients to seek treatment in emergency rooms, the study authors said.
"Overall, the study highlights the degree to which emergency departments struggle to meet the needs of mental health patients," Zhu said in a university news release.
The study appears in the September issue of the journal Health Affairs.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has more on mental illness treatment.
This article: Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.