The Particulars: Anecdotal evidence suggests that seasonal patterns may affect how psychiatric patients utilize the ED. Few clinical studies have explored the prevalence of seasonal presentations involving psychiatric illness in the ED setting.
Data Breakdown: In a study, investigators divided data on ED presentations involving mental diagnoses by season and formed a baseline rate for diagnoses that was used to compare with individual seasons. When compared with those who presented in all other seasons, psychiatry patients who presented in the fall were significantly younger. Those who presented in the summer were significantly older. When compared with baseline data, presentations of substance-related disorder were significantly higher during the fall; adjustment and anxiety disorders were significantly lower during this season. No significant differences were seen among the number of presentations in all four seasons.
Take Home Pearls: No significant differences appear to exist between seasons in the number of psychiatric presentations to the ED. However, psychiatric patients who present in the fall appear to be significantly younger than those who present in the summer when compared with patients presenting in other seasons.