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Psychiatr Serv. 2000 Jul;51(7):924-7.

The nature of help-seeking during psychiatric emergency service visits by a patient and an accompanying adult.

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Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9070, USA.


Utilization rates for urban psychiatric emergency services remain high, and the decision to seek care in this setting is poorly understood. Three hundred individuals accompanying patients to a psychiatric emergency service were interviewed about their help seeking and choice of treatment setting. Twenty-three of the interviewees (7.7 percent) were caregivers accompanying patients with severe and persistent mental illness. They were significantly more likely than other interviewees to know the difference between psychiatric emergency services and services offered by other outpatient providers. More than half reported that the patient they accompanied was intermittently noncompliant, which required visiting either a walk-in service during a moment when the patient was cooperative or a facility equipped to provide involuntary treatment.

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