Predictors and Outcomes of Psychiatric Hospitalization in Youth Presenting to the Emergency Department with Suicidality

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Abstract

Youth suicide attempters presenting to the emergency department (ED) are frequently admitted to psychiatric inpatient hospitals, yet little is known about how clinicians decide which youths to admit versus discharge to outpatient care. We examine predictors of inpatient hospitalization and describe service use outcomes associated with hospitalization in 181 youths drawn from consecutive ED admissions for suicidality. Predictors of hospitalization include ED site, suicide plan, and parent report of problems. Hospitalization was associated with improved linkage to outpatient treatment and more intensive service use. Future research is needed to understand the best service delivery and treatments for these high-risk youth.

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