, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 281-291

Ethnic differences in emergency psychiatric care and hospitalization in a program for the severely mentally ill

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Abstract

Ethnic differences in rehospitalization were examined in a program of intensive services for severely mentally ill hospital recidivists. The purpose was to determine whether ethnicity-related differences in psychiatric admissions observed in national data would appear among clients at great risk for hospitalization but enrolled in a program of case-managed care to promote community adjustment and tenure. After accounting for differences in prior emergency visits and hospitalizations as well as sociodemographic and clinical differences, blacks were found more likely than whites to visit the psychiatric emergency room and to be hospitalized. The marked needs of the severely mentally ill and the intention to address these needs with services did not obviate the continuing importance of racial differences in explaining reliance on inpatient sources of care.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Amy Wachtel, David Fariello, and Jeff Kline in the collection of the data used in the analysis reported here. A version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems in Washington, Dc on August 9, 1990