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January 27, 1984

Psychiatric Emergencies: Intervention and Resolution

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois at Chicago Health Sciences Center

JAMA. 1984;251(4):540. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340280082042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is a handbook of psychiatric emergencies. It is written by two psychiatrists, a nurse, and a resident in psychiatry. The book undertakes to examine in a concise manner the major issues that are initially seen in a psychiatric emergency setting and to delineate techniques of diagnosis and management.

The authors clearly describe the trends in emergency psychiatry caused by the increased number of people requiring crisis care and the shift in government support for emergency medicine. They point out that a different style is needed in urgent, emergency, and crisis work. They provide such helpful information as a "mini mental health examination" for evaluation of cognitive function, part of their awareness of constraints of the emergency situation.

This book has a strong medical orientation and gives attention to the physical illnesses that may cause emotional symptoms and the varied chemical agents that may derange mental functioning. The authors point