Frequent Attendance to the Emergency Department after Release from Prison: a Prospective Data Linkage Study

Amanda Butler, Alexander D Love, Jesse T Young, Stuart A Kinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to identify characteristics and predictors of frequent emergency department (ED) use among people released from prisons in Queensland, Australia. Baseline interview data from a sample of sentenced adults were linked to ED and hospital records. The association between baseline characteristics and frequent ED attendance was modelled by fitting multivariate logistic regression models. Participants who had ≥ 4 visits to the ED in any 365-day period of community follow-up were defined as frequent attenders (FA). The analyses included 1307 people and mean follow-up time in the community was 1063 days. After adjusting for covariates, those with a dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance use (RR = 2.42, 95% CI 1.47-3.99) and those with mental illness alone (RR = 2.47, 95% CI 1.29-4.73) were at higher risk of frequent ED attendance, compared with those with no disorder. Future research should assess whether individually tailored transition supports from prison to community reduce the frequency of ED use among this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-559
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

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