August 1977

Compliance With Psychiatric Emergency Room Referrals

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(8):930-933. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770200068006

• An attempt was made to identify some of the major variables, such as age, sex, ethnicity, and diagnosis, that might be determinants of compliance with psychiatrists' recommendations to enter outpatient treatment after emergency room visits. In general, it was found that older Puerto Rican and white women, usually those diagnosed as having some kind of depression, had the highest rate of compliance. Black patients, as well as all patients diagnosed as schizophrenic, had the lowest probability of outpatient follow-up. A telephone survey of those patients who did not go for outpatient treatment within six months after referral was conducted to elicit their reasons for not going. Several hypotheses were developed concerning reasons for lack of compliance with recommendations for outpatient follow-up, and a number of suggestions were made about possible methods for increasing the compliance rate.