Psychiatric Emergencies of Asylum Seekers; Descriptive Analysis and Comparison with Immigrants of Warranted Residence.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 06 21;15(7). Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, Freiburgstrasse, 3010 Bern, Switzerland.

The aim of our study was to assess utilization patterns of psychiatric services by asylum seekers. We included 119 adults who presented themselves at the University Emergency Department between 1 March 2012 and 1 January 2017 for psychiatric consultation. Descriptive data were compared with a control group of non-Swiss individuals with warranted residence permits using Mann-Whitney- and chi square (χ²) tests. Patients were mainly single, male, residing in reception centers, and presented themselves most frequently due to suicidal ideation. Almost 60% of the patients were assigned to inpatient treatments, with 28 involuntary cases. Compared to the control group, asylum seekers were younger and more often men ( < 0.001 for both). Further, they less often had family in Switzerland (χ² = 9.91, = 0.007). The proportion of patients coming in as walk-ins was significantly higher in the control group than in asylum seekers (χ² = 37.0, < 0.001). Asylum seekers were more frequently referred due to suicidal ideation and aggressive behavior than participants in the control group (χ² = 80.07, < 0.001). Diagnoses for asylum seekers infrequently included mood, as they often reported stress-related disorders (χ² = 19.6, = 0.021) and they were infrequently released home (χ² = 9.19, = 0.027). Asylum seekers more frequently demonstrated severe symptoms such as suicidal ideation and aggressive behavior and they were mainly treated as inpatients, potentially due to minimal social resources.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068840PMC
June 2018
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