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Trends in emergency psychiatry in the last two decades
Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:623-628.
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Abstract

Emergency psychiatric services provide essential care. Their utilization may also be assumed to reflect the health care needs of a population. The authors observed trends in an emergency psychiatric service over a 17-year period by comparing 400 randomly selected patient visits in 1977 with date from 1960 and 1970. They found a decrease in the number of patients seeking treatment, decreased patient age and socioeconomic status, increased use by men, increased night visits, little change in diagnostic categories, and a striking increase in hospitalization since 1970. These data support the importance of assessing trends in emergency psychiatric services over time to ensure that they meet the needs of the population being served.

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