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Article   |    
Characteristics of police referrals to a psychiatric emergency unit in Australia
Psychiatric Services 1995; doi:
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Abstract

The study examined characteristics of patients referred by police to a psychiatric emergency unit on the campus of a 400-bed psychiatric hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. Of all police referrals (N = 634) during a 21-month period, 437 cases were admitted to the hospital. Most police referrals were young, single, unemployed men. In a subsample of 61 patients, 72 percent had previous psychiatric admissions and 39 percent had been previously referred by police. Compared with nonpsychotic subjects, psychotic subjects used more mental health resources, had a longer index admission, and after the index discharge relapsed more rapidly and spent more days in the hospital.

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