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Eur Psychiatry. 1998;13(1):35-40. doi: 10.1016/S0924-9338(97)86749-1.

The Nordic comparative study on sectorized psychiatry: characteristics of repeat users of emergency outpatient services in two Nordic psychiatric services. A 1-year follow-up study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, SF-90210 Oulu, Finland.


To characterise frequent use of psychiatric emergency outpatients services, this paper reports results from a prospective investigation of use of psychiatric services by new patients in two Nordic psychiatric services, Frederiksberg in Denmark and Oulu in Finland. One year treated incidence cohorts were used. Total number of patients included was 1,055. The repeat user was defined as a patient having at least three emergency outpatient contacts during a 1-year follow-up. The repeat users constituted 15.8% of the sample and 70.8% of all the emergency contacts in Frederiksberg. In Oulu the respective figures were 9.3% and 33.8%. The number of planned outpatient contacts or the number of hospital admissions of the repeat users did not differ from the non-repeaters. Repeaters in Frederiksberg were more likely to be self-referrals, male, divorced or unmarried, living with their parents, without their own housing, unemployed, aged between 25 and 44 years, and to have a diagnosis of dependency or personality disorder. In Oulu they did not differ from the other patients with regard to sociodemographic or diagnostic characteristics.

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