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Effectiveness of a Self-Administered Computerized Mental Health Screening Tool in the Emergency Department.
Thompson RG, Mullinax S, De Monte R, McBain S, Porter A, Eastin C, Landes SJ, Wilson MP. Effectiveness of a Self-Administered Computerized Mental Health Screening Tool in the Emergency Department. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2023 May 10; appips20220523.
The authors sought to determine the effectiveness of a self-administered computerized mental health screening tool in a general acute care emergency department (ED).
Changes in patient care (diagnosis of a past-year psychiatric disorder, request for psychiatric consultation, psychiatric referral at discharge, or transfer to psychiatric facility) and patient ED return visits (3 months after discharge vs. 3 months before) were assessed among ED physicians (N = 451) who received patients' computerized screening reports (N = 207) and those who did not (N = 244). All patients received copies of screening results.
The computerized mental health screening tool identified previously undiagnosed psychiatric problems. However, no statistically significant differences were found in physician care or patient ED return visits.
Computerized mental health screening did not result in further psychiatric diagnoses or treatment; it also did not significantly reduce patient ED return visits. Collaboration among EDs and mental health treatment agencies, organizations, and researchers is needed to facilitate appropriate treatment referrals and linkage.