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Crisis visits and psychiatric hospitalizations among patients attending a community clinic in rural Southern California.

  • Author(s): Camacho, Alvaro
  • Ng, Bernardo
  • Bejarano, Anabel
  • Simmons, Alan
  • Chavira, Denise
  • et al.
Abstract

Ethnic minorities from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds report increased utilization of mental health emergency services; however findings have been inconsistent across ethnic/racial groups. In this study we describe patients who present to a rural crisis unit in Southern California, examine rates of psychiatric hospitalizations across ethnic/racial groups, and investigate factors that are associated with increased psychiatric hospitalizations in this sample. This is a retrospective study of 451 racially and ethnically diverse patients attending a crisis unit in Imperial County, California. Chart review and data abstraction methods were used to characterize the sample and identify factors associated with psychiatric crises and subsequent hospitalizations. The sample was predominantly Latino/Hispanic (58.5%). Based on chart review, common psychosocial stressors which prompted a crisis center visit were: (a) financial problems; (b) homelessness; (c) partner or family conflict; (d) physical and health problems; (e) problems at school/work; (f) medication compliance; (g) aggressive behavior; (h) delusional behavior; (i) addiction and (j) anxiety/depression. Bivariate analyses revealed that Hispanics had a disproportionately lower rate of psychiatric hospitalizations while African Americans had a higher rate. Multivariate analyses which included demographic, clinical and psychosocial stressor variables revealed that being African American, having a psychotic disorder, and presenting as gravely disabled were associated with a higher likelihood of hospitalization while partner/family conflict was associated with a lesser likelihood in this rural community. These data elucidate the need for longitudinal studies to understand the interactions between psychosocial stressors, ethnicity and social support as determinants of psychiatric hospitalizations.

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