Original Article

Characteristics of Pediatric Psychiatric Emergency Population in a Mental Health Hospital


  • Caner Mutlu
  • Ali Güven Kılıçoğlu
  • Hatice Güneş
  • Hilal Adaletli
  • Handan Metin
  • Mustafa Kayhan Bahalı
  • Hamiyet İpek
  • Özden Şükran Üneri

Received Date: 24.12.2014 Accepted Date: 21.04.2015 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2015;14(3):123-130


We aimed to investigate the characteristics of children and adolescents presented to the psychiatric emergency service (PES) of a mental health hospital.

Materials and Methods:

Medical records of patients under 18 years of age were reviewed for the first psychiatric emergency visit during a 1-year period.


The mean age was 15.82 years and 65.8% (n=711) were female. The most presenting symptoms were suicidal ideation (21.0%; most for girls) and homicide/ violence toward others (20.7%; most for boys). The mean duration of symptoms was 265.36 days. The most common diagnoses were conduct disorder (16.7%; most for boys) and conversion disorder (15.5%; most for girls). Of the patients, 51.7% never used any mental health services before. The rate of prior use of mental health service was significantly higher in patients presenting with homicide/violence toward others and self-harm and lower in patients presenting with anxiety and somatic symptoms (p<0.05). Of the patients, 292 (27.0%) took no treatment and 271 (25.1%) were admitted to the psychiatric inpatient unit.


PES can be used by half of the families as a first-line therapy unit. PES seems to serve an important role in the continuum of pediatric mental health care, particularly for youths with homicide/violence toward others, and to be a point of access to mental healthcare, particularly for youths with anxiety and somatic symptoms.

Keywords: Emergency service, child, adolescent, psychiatry, mental health