Chart data on emergency room visits by elderly patients and a younger control group were examined in an exploratory study of utilization of psychiatric emergency services by the elderly and factors predictive of their subsequent admission to a psychiatric inpatient unit. Elderly patients had lower utilization of psychiatric services than their younger counterparts, but they were significantly more likely to be hospitalized following an emergency room visit. Dementia, the single most frequent diagnosis of the elderly patients, increased the likelihood of hospitalization only if it existed in combination with another psychiatric diagnosis. Medical comorbidity appeared to have no effect on whether the elderly patient was subsequently hospitalized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health