Psych Patients ED – The Psychiatry Physician Perspective

B. Chakravarthy MD MPH, T. Portillo MD, W. Deng MD PhD, J. Maguire MD, J. Shapiro PhD


Objective: To investigate the perspectives of psychiatrics on the management and disposition of psychiatric patients in the Emergency Department. Method: Qualitative study involving 9 consulting psychiatry faculty and residents associated with the UC Irvine Department of psychiatry. All participants underwent a semi-structured interview and the answers were audiotaped and transcribed Results: Psychiatrists discussed limitations in emergency physicians’ assessments and treatments of psychiatric patients, which include incomplete work-up, inadequate acquisition of information, and suboptimal medical stabilization. Psychiatrists reported that the majority of disposition challenges were structural and had little to do with emergency physician disposition decision- making.
Conclusion: The results may help to better target education efforts in emergency residency training.

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