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Publication Detail
Acute mental health admissions in inner London: changes in patient characteristics and clinical admission thresholds between 1988 and 1998.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Fitzpatrick NK, Thompson CJ, Hemingway H, Barnes TRE, Higgitt A, Molloy C, Hargreaves S
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    7, 11
  • Journal:
    Psychiatric Bulletin
  • Volume:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    mental health, mental health admissions
  • Addresses:
    Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 6BT
Aims and Method We undertook a retrospective case-note review of three cohorts of mental health admissions to determine the extent to which patient and service characteristics changed between 1988 and 1998. Changes in clinical admission thresholds were investigated by psychiatrists’ review of hand-written medical admission assessments. Results Patients admitted in 1998 were demographically less stable and clinically more complex than those admitted ten years earlier. Clinical admission thresholds remained consistent. Clinical implications Our findings suggest the perceived increase in pressure on psychiatric services over this period was a response to a change in population need. This study highlights important questions about the clinical decision-making process leading to use of alternatives to admission and the appropriateness of acute admissions.
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