This study identifies patient characteristics associated with adherence to outpatient mental health treatment referrals from a VA psychiatric emergency department. Attendance of outpatient appointments was monitored for 12 weeks following emergency department visits (N = 241). Overall attendance of the first appointments was 53%, ranging from 34% of the homeless, to 82% of patients with alcoholism in remission. Characteristics associated with initial adherence included having a place to live and the diagnosis of depression. At twelve weeks, the diagnosis of substance abuse was associated with worse ongoing adherence. The results underscore the need to develop interventions targeting patients at highest risk of poor adherence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health