Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults with Mental Illness in North Carolina

Abstract

INTRODUCTION We analyzed emergency department (ED) visits by patients with mental health disorders (MHDs) in North Carolina from 2008-2010 to determine frequencies and characteristics of ED visits by older adults with MHDs. METHODS We extracted ED visit data from the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT). We defined mental health visits as visits with a mental health ICD-9-CM diagnostic code, and organized MHDs into clinically similar groups for analysis. RESULTS Those ≥65 with MHDs accounted for 27.3% of all MHD ED visits, and 51.2% were admitted. The most common MHD diagnoses for this age group were psychosis, and stress/anxiety/depression. CONCLUSION Older adults with MHDs account for over one-quarter of ED patients with MHDs, and their numbers will continue to increase as the "boomer" population ages. We must anticipate and prepare for the MHD-related needs of the elderly.

DOI: 10.5811/westjem.2015.8.27662

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hakenewerth2015EmergencyDV, title={Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults with Mental Illness in North Carolina}, author={A. Hakenewerth and Judith Tintinalli and Anna E. Waller and Amy Ising}, booktitle={The western journal of emergency medicine}, year={2015} }