Mental Health Visits: Examining Socio-demographic and Diagnosis Trends in the Emergency Department by the Pediatric Population

Sharon M. Holder, Kenneth Rogers, Eunice Peterson, Christian Ochonma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emergency department (ED) is increasingly being used for mental health visits by children and adolescents. It is estimated that 21–23% of youth have a diagnosable psychiatric or substance use disorder. Using data from the ED of a tertiary medical center, we examined trends in mental health diagnoses over a 5-year period. In school age children the most prevalent diagnoses were anxiety disorders (28.4%); disorders first usually diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence (26.5%), and mood disorders (18.6%). High school students were more likely to visit the ED for anxiety disorders (30%). Females (34.5%) presented more for anxiety disorders compared to males (22.7%). Mental health visits and diagnoses were higher during school months (September–May) and lower in the summer months (June–August). The diagnosis trends identified in this study have clinical implications that can contribute to evidence-based restructuring of mental health resources and screenings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1000
Number of pages8
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mental health
  • Mood disorders
  • Psychiatric diagnosis
  • School age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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