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Are mental health problems associated with use of Accident and Emergency and health-related harm?

Keene, Jan, Rodriguez, Jorge (2007) Are mental health problems associated with use of Accident and Emergency and health-related harm? European Journal of Public Health, 17 (4). pp. 387-393. ISSN 1101-1262. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckl248) (KAR id:4938)


Background: Previous findings indicate that mental health problems are common in Emergency departments; however, there are few studies of the extent of health-related problems and emergency service use in mental health populations as a whole. Methods: Record linkage methods were used to map the association between mental health, age, gender, and health-related harm across total health and mental health care populations in one geographical area, over three years. By examining patterns of health-related harm, an accurate profile of mentally ill Emergency patients was generated enabling identification of factors that increased vulnerability to harm. Results: Of the total population of 625 964 individuals, 10.7% contacted Accident and Emergency (A&E) over three years, this proportion rose to 28.6% among the total secondary care mental health population. Young men and older women were more likely to contact A&E, both overall and within mental health populations and were also more likely to be frequent attendees at A&E. Four distinct groups (typologies) of mental health patients attending A&E emerged: young, male frequent attendees with self-inflicted and other traumatic injuries; young females also presenting with self-harm; older patients with multiple medical conditions; and very old patients with cardiac conditions and fractures. Conclusion: The study indicates increased A+E service use and unmet health-related need within a total mental health population. It identifies specific ‘care populations’ particularly vulnerable to accidents and self-harm and highlights the need for targeted services for mentally ill groups who may not access traditional health and social care services effectively.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/eurpub/ckl248
Uncontrolled keywords: Accident and Emergency, health-related harm, mentally ill, populations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2008 13:47 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Rodriguez, Jorge.

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