, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 25-34

Establishing a New Research Agenda for Studying Psychiatric Emergency Room Treatment Decisions

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With the growing complexity of treatment decisions made at presentation to a psychiatric emergency room (PER) and the increasing influence of managed care on the decision-making process, it is increasingly important to establish a new and more sophisticated research agenda for studying PER decision making. The main goal of this paper is to propose a comprehensive conceptual model of the PER decision-making process that will facilitate active pursuit of such a research agenda. The proposed model presents both traditional and emerging elements of the PER decision-making process (i.e., determinants, mediating mechanisms, and outcomes) and explicates the nature of the relationships among them at different levels of analysis. The model's theoretical and empirical implications for future research are discussed and suggestions are made as to the research designs and methods needed to pursue this agenda.