Demographic and clinical characteristics of users of psychiatric emergency services on an off-shore island in Taiwan

Chih Kang Chen, Tzu Yun Wang, Wu Shi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. This study assessed the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of psychiatric emergency service (PES) patients treated in a hospital on an off-shore island of Taiwan. Method. Data were gathered on 472 identified psychiatric patients presenting to PES over a 4-year period. Results. The majority of patients were male and were in the 5059 age group with no previous psychiatric treatment or family history of mental illness. Hospitalization rates were low for both genders, but males spent a longer time in the emergency department. Males were more often seen for violence and homicidal behaviours, while females showed more evidence of suicidal behaviour. Males were more likely to receive medication by injection with or without physical restraint as opposed to oral medication and emotional support. Conclusions. The clinical characteristics of male and female PES patients in this remote island showed differences in length of stay, psychiatric diagnoses, behaviour characteristics, and final disposition. These findings differ from those in studies of PES patients on the main island of Taiwan, the United States and Europe. Future studies of other remote areas may confirm these findings and highlight the need to provide more and particular mental health services to these underserved areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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