Use of emergency department services for somatic reasons by people with serious mental illness

Ann L. Hackman, Richard W. Goldberg, Clayton H. Brown, Li Juan Fang, Faith B. Dickerson, Karen Wohlheiter, Deborah R. Medoff, Julie A. Kreyenbuhl, Lisa Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: This study identified factors associated with use of the emergency department for medical reasons among individuals with serious mental illness. Methods: A total of 200 randomly selected out-patients who were receiving community-based psychiatric care were recruited for the study and interviewed with items from the National Health Interview Survey and other national health surveys. Results: Emergency department use (37 percent of the sample) was negatively associated with older age and positively associated with the number of co-occurring medical conditions, smoking, recent injury, and recent change in health care provider. Conclusions: The relatively high rate of emergency department use may be suggestive of inappropriate use or may reflect perceived barriers to care. Future work should identify specific reasons for seeking care in the emergency department and develop interventions to optimize appropriate emergency department use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-566
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • General Health Professions


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