Background: Suicide is a significant public health problem. Individuals are estimated to make up to 20 suicide attempts before suicide. The emergency department (ED) is the first location where individuals are brought after a suicide attempt. This study investigated the factors related to delays in the medical hospitalisation of patients who attempted suicide and aimed to provide criteria for hospitalisation decisions by physicians. Methods: This study included patients who had deliberately self-harmed (age ≥ 19 years) and presented at the EDs of two tertiary teaching hospitals between March 2017 and April 2020. Those for whom relevant demographic and clinical information were unavailable and those admitted to the psychiatric wards were excluded. Results: This study included 414 patients in the hospitalisation group and 1346 in the discharged group. The mean patient age was 50.3 ± 20.0 years and 40.7 ± 17.0 years in the hospitalised and discharged groups (p < 0.001), respectively. The mean ED length of stay (LOS) was 4.2 ± 12.3 and 11.4 ± 18.8 h in the hospitalised and discharged groups, respectively. In the hospitalised group, the odds ratio and confidence interval for aged 35 ~ 64 (2.222, 1.343–3.678), aged over 65 (2.788, 1.416–5.492), sex -male (2.041, 1.302–3.119), and consciousness (1.840, 1.253–2.466). The Risk-Rescue Ratio Scale (RRRS) was (1.298, 1.255–1.343). A receiver operating characteristics analysis of RRRS for the decision to hospitalise patients who attempted suicide showed a cut-off value of 42, with sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve being 85.7, 85.5%, and 0.924, respectively. Conclusion: The level of consciousness and the RRRS of patients who attempted suicide can be the factors to decide medical hospitalisation and reduce ED LOS and crowding.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Young-ho Shin, Ji-young Lee, Hyo-Jin Han (Sanggye Paik Hospital case management team), Hye-min Choi (Ewha Womans University Mok-dong hospital) for data management support, and Hye Ah Lee. Ph.D. for helping with statistical analysis.
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2018R1C1B5046096). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2021, The Author(s).
- Emergency department
- Length of stay
- Suicide attempt