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Demand and characteristics of a psychiatric 24-hour emergency service performed by mandatory rotation of licensed psychiatrists in Swiss primary care


Chmiel, Corinne; Rosemann, Thomas; Senn, Oliver (2014). Demand and characteristics of a psychiatric 24-hour emergency service performed by mandatory rotation of licensed psychiatrists in Swiss primary care. Patient Preference and Adherence, 8:383-390.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To investigate characteristics of and satisfaction with psychiatric 24-hour emergency primary care performed by mandatory rotation of licensed psychiatrists as a viable baseline for possible reorganizational measures.
METHODS: This was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study (November 2010-April 2011). The number of patient-psychiatrist encounters, modes of contact, and patient and psychiatrist characteristics were assessed. Diagnoses were coded with ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, version 10).
RESULTS: From 167 duty episodes, 74 (44%) were recorded. Of the psychiatrists (n=44), 52% were female, and mean age (standard deviation) was 49.9 (5.2) years. The median number of encounters per episode was 4 (interquartile range 0-8), mainly in the evenings. Demand for "face-to-face" (direct) patient visits was significantly more common (64.0%) than practice (1.3%) or telephone consultations (34.7%). In 83.8%, psychiatrists judged the encounter as adequate at the patient's location. A total of 43 different diagnoses were recorded: mainly schizophrenic disorders (23.9%), suicidal behavior (15.2%), and acute stress reactions (10.3%). Psychiatrists felt burdened by services (62.5%): in 39.2%, they felt threatened; and in 6.8%, violence occurred. In 32.4%, bills were not paid for. If services were optional, 45.2% would participate.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate justified demand for direct mobile patient visits, suggesting that emergency care should be multifaceted, and sole provision of psychiatric care at stationed emergency facilities may not always be appropriate. Reorganization of 24-hour emergency services should carefully evaluate patient and provider's needs before changing established structures.

BACKGROUND: To investigate characteristics of and satisfaction with psychiatric 24-hour emergency primary care performed by mandatory rotation of licensed psychiatrists as a viable baseline for possible reorganizational measures.
METHODS: This was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study (November 2010-April 2011). The number of patient-psychiatrist encounters, modes of contact, and patient and psychiatrist characteristics were assessed. Diagnoses were coded with ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, version 10).
RESULTS: From 167 duty episodes, 74 (44%) were recorded. Of the psychiatrists (n=44), 52% were female, and mean age (standard deviation) was 49.9 (5.2) years. The median number of encounters per episode was 4 (interquartile range 0-8), mainly in the evenings. Demand for "face-to-face" (direct) patient visits was significantly more common (64.0%) than practice (1.3%) or telephone consultations (34.7%). In 83.8%, psychiatrists judged the encounter as adequate at the patient's location. A total of 43 different diagnoses were recorded: mainly schizophrenic disorders (23.9%), suicidal behavior (15.2%), and acute stress reactions (10.3%). Psychiatrists felt burdened by services (62.5%): in 39.2%, they felt threatened; and in 6.8%, violence occurred. In 32.4%, bills were not paid for. If services were optional, 45.2% would participate.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate justified demand for direct mobile patient visits, suggesting that emergency care should be multifaceted, and sole provision of psychiatric care at stationed emergency facilities may not always be appropriate. Reorganization of 24-hour emergency services should carefully evaluate patient and provider's needs before changing established structures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:22 May 2014 08:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:52
Publisher:Dove Medical Press
ISSN:1177-889X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S53950
PubMed ID:24707172
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-95967

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