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ERs Frequented by Kids With Behavioral Problems: Report
Date:6/1/2011

a pediatric psychiatrist at Hopkins Children's, said in a news release from the center.

The researchers suggested there could be several possible explanations for the repeat ER visits, including:

  • Limited office hours may be an obstacle to effective regular outpatient care.
  • Children and their families may gravitate to ERs following prior positive experiences there.
  • Some families may see ER care as less stigmatizing than outpatient mental health services.
  • Outpatient providers may lack sufficient resources and so send patients to the ER.

Frosch and colleagues noted that more research is needed to determine the exact reasons behind these recurrent ER visits for non-emergency psychiatric problems. "We need to understand why families who are already connected to outpatient providers continue to seek ER care, why providers send patients to the ER and what role, if any, ERs may play in the continuum of care for non-psychotic, non-suicidal patients," said Frosch. "It is possible that ERs fulfill an important function in that continuum for some patients."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health provides more information on child and adolescent mental health.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Children's Center, news release, June 1, 2011


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ERs Frequented by Kids With Behavioral Problems: Report
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