The use of an emergency ward by patients with depressive or anxiety disorders: a one year follow-up study

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2001;31(3):265-75. doi: 10.2190/BBNG-265Y-298T-UJEF.


Objective: The present study examined patients during the year after the index hospitalization in an Emergency Ward (ED) to determine whether patients with depressive or anxiety disorders have a higher rate of readmission than patients without these conditions.

Method: For this purpose, 165 subjects (85 diagnosed with DSM-IV depressive or anxiety disorders and 80 controls) were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and with the Duke Severity of Illness Scale both during the index hospitalization and one year later. Hospitalizations during the follow-up period were determined using the hospital database.

Results: During the follow-up period, depressed and anxious patients were more frequently rehospitalized in ED wards than controls (p = 0.006), after controlling for the effect of medical illnesses severity, marital status, living arrangement, and employment status. No difference was found regarding the admissions to wards different from ED.

Conclusions: Patients with depressive or anxiety disorders use the ED ward more frequently than controls for the diagnosis and treatment of somatic symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / rehabilitation*
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index