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Brief Reports   |    
Disparities in Repeat Visits to Emergency Departments Among Transition-Age Youths With Mental Health Needs
Yumiko Aratani, Ph.D.; Sophia Addy, M.P.H.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300012
View Author and Article Information

Dr. Aratani is with the National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City (e-mail: ya61@columbia.edu). Ms Addy is with the School of Medicine, St. George’s University, St. George’s, Grenada.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

Objective  The purpose of this study was to examine racial-ethnic and gender differences in return visits to emergency services among transition-age youths (aged 17 to 24 years) with mental health needs.

Methods  Data were from the California Emergency Department and Ambulatory Surgery Data. Logistic regression was used to examine the odds of returning to an emergency department among youths who had a psychiatric diagnosis (N=33,588).

Results  About 41% of the sample returned to the emergency department within a year. Compared with white males, the odds of returning were lower for Hispanic males (odds ratio [OR]=.89) and Asian males (OR=.59) and higher for white females (OR=1.21), African-American females (OR=1.49), Hispanic females (OR=1.24), and Native American females (OR=2.09).

Conclusions  Repeat visits to emergency departments among transition-age youths with psychiatric diagnoses may indicate limited access to or lack of high-quality care. The disparities indicate a need for culturally sensitive and gender-specific services for this vulnerable population.

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Anchor for Jump
Table 1Logistic regression models of predictors of a return visit to emergency services among 33,588 transition-age youths with mental health needs
Table Footer Note

a Model 1 included only race-ethnicity and gender.

Table Footer Note

b Model 2 controlled for youths’ age, county of residence, and insurance type.

Table Footer Note

c Model 3 controlled for youths’ age, county of residence, insurance type, clinical diagnosis, and disposition at the first visit.

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References

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