Mental and behavioral disorders in the population of homeless patients admitted to hospital emergency departments

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Abstract

The aim of the study is to identify the most common mental and behavioral disorders diagnosed in homeless patients admitted to hospital emergency departments and to identify performed medical procedures including diagnostic and therapeutic measures in this range.

Material and Method:Data from information systems of three hospitals concerning stays of homeless people in ED in Bydgoszcz in 2013-2015 were analyzed. As any as 3133 stays were identified. The data was compiled using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and Statistica 10 statistical software package.

Results: Diagnoses in the category of mental disorders and behavioral disorders constituted 23.3% of diagnoses made in the studied population, of which two thirds were psychiatric disorders and behavioral disorders caused by alcohol use. Specific personality disorders (5.84%), schizophrenia (3.82%), and mild mental retardation (2.24%) were diagnosed in patients. One tenth of all the ICD-9 procedures performed were the procedures of the category 94- Procedures related to mental condition

Conclusions: Mental and behavioral disorders are one of the main reasons for admission of homeless people to hospital emergency departments. Most diseases is diagnosed in facilities where psychiatric consultation is possible, as well as where the number of procedures related to mental condition performed is the highest. Homeless patients suffering from mental and behavioral disorders are rarely admitted to hospital wards for hospitalization. Psychiatric care for homeless patients admitted to emergency departments is an ad hoc intervention and depends on the availability of a psychiatrist. Providing homeless patients with access to a psychiatric diagnosis at ED level would affect the quality of psychiatric care and would contribute to the improvement of mental health of homeless people.

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