Emergency department visits for depression in the United States from 2006 to 2014

Sarah Ballou*, Shuji Mitsuhashi, Lindsey S. Sankin, Travis S. Petersen, Julia Zubiago, Cara Lembo, Eve Takazawa, Jesse Katon, Thomas Sommers, William Hirsch, Vikram Rangan, Mike Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Patients with depression frequently seek care in the emergency department (ED), especially in the context of suicidal ideation (SI)and self-harm (SH). However, the prevalence and trends in the United States (US)of ED visits for depression have not yet been characterized using a nationally representative sample. This study evaluates ED trends for depression in the US from 2006 to 2014. Methods: Data was obtained from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)in 2006 and 2014 using a primary ICD-9 diagnosis of depression or a primary diagnosis of suicidal ideation (SI)and a secondary diagnosis of depression. Results: Between 2006 and 2014, there was a 25.9% increase in visits to the ED for depression, which was higher than the 14.8% increase in total ED visits during this time period. The mean inflation adjusted charges associated with depression-related ED visits increased by 107.7%, which was higher than the increase in mean charges for all ED visits in the same time period (40.47%). Visit rates were bimodally distributed with respect to age, with peaks in adolescence and middle age. Notably there was a 61.3% increase in ED visits for depression in individuals younger than 20 between 2006 and 2014. Over half of patients were admitted for inpatient care with a mean length of stay of 5.6 days in both years. Inpatient charges increased 71.8% between 2006 and 2014. Conclusions: ED visits for depression in the United States rose 25.9% between 2006 and 2014, which was higher than the 14.8% increase in total ED visits during this time period. Over half of ED depression visits were admitted to inpatient stay (mean 5.6 days both years).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-19
    Number of pages6
    JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
    Volume59
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Keywords

    • depression
    • healthcare utilization
    • epidemiology
    • emergency services
    • suicidal ideation
    • self harm

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