Background and objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and the outcomes of a group of elderly patients referred to a liaison psychiatry department in the emergency department of an Academic University Hospital.
Methods: A group of 39 patients aged over 65 years (mean age: 70. years, 56% male), consecutively referred to a liaison psychiatry department between March 2017 and December 2020, was compared to a group of 613 patients aged under 65 years (mean age: 42.0 years, 69% male) following their admission to the emergency department of the Amiens University Hospital, France.
Results and conclusions: The main reasons for admission in the emergency department were alcohol intoxication (54%), depressive symptoms (23%), and suicidal ideas or behaviors (24%), without significant difference with the group of patients aged under 65 years of age. The rate of patients smoking tobacco on a daily basis was lower in the group of patients over 65 years of age (respectively 28% versus 71%, P < 0.0001). The rates of patients who used alcohol on a daily basis, patients with current depressive disorders, patients with personality disorders, patients receiving antidepressants, benzodiazepines or hypnotic treatments were similar in both groups. The prescription of pharmacological treatments for smoking cessation and for alcohol cessation should be enhanced.
Keywords: addiction; alcohol; cannabis; elderly; emergencies; tobacco.