Utilization of emergency center services by older adults with a psychiatric diagnosis

Jeffrey A. Cully, V. A. Molinari, A. L. Snow, J. Burruss, K. J. Kotrla, M. E. Kunik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Information regarding older adult emergency center (EC) patient characteristics remains limited, despite its increasing importance in health care delivery systems. This retrospective study encompasses all EC visits over an eight-year period (n = 825,682) to a large urban county hospital. Only participants with a primary psychiatric diagnosis were examined, and included a total of 53,894 adults, 18-64 years old and 1,478 adults, ≥65 years old. Despite an increasing aging population, EC visits for older adults with psychiatric disorders did not increase over time. Within the older adult sample, cognitive, psychotic, and bipolar disorders were associated with higher rates of admission to the hospital, while substance use, depressive, and anxiety disorders were associated with lower numbers of inpatient admissions. African-Americans were over-represented in the EC and admitted to the hospital at higher rates, compared to other ethnic groups. Caucasian patients were the group most frequently diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In conclusion, differences in race, and diagnosis support the idea that such variables directly relate to utilization rates, presentation, and disposition within the EC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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