Pediatric suicide-related presentations: a systematic review of mental health care in the emergency department

Pediatric suicide-related presentations: a systematic review of mental health care in the emergency department

Newton, A. S. Hamm, M. P. Bethell, J. Rhodes, A. E. Bryan, C. J. Tjosvold, L. Ali, S. Logue, E. Manion, I. G.
Annals of Emergency Medicine
STUDY OBJECTIVE: We evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for pediatric patients with suicide-related emergency department (ED) visits. METHODS: We searched of MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, other electronic databases, references, and key journals/conference proceedings. We included experimental or quasiexperimental studies that evaluated psychosocial interventions for pediatric suicide-related ED visits. Inclusion screening, study selection, and methodological quality were assessed by 2 independent reviewers. One reviewer extracted the data and a second checked for completeness and accuracy. Consensus was reached by conference; disagreements were adjudicated by a third reviewer. We calculated odds ratios, relative risks (RRs), or mean differences for each study's primary outcome, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Meta-analysis was deferred because of clinical heterogeneity in intervention, patient population, and outcome. RESULTS: We included 7 randomized controlled trials and 3 quasiexperimental studies, grouping and reviewing them according to intervention delivery: ED-based delivery (n=1), postdischarge delivery (n=6), and ED transition interventions (n=3). An ED-based discharge planning intervention increased the number of attended post-ED treatment sessions (mean difference=2.6 sessions; 95% CI 0.05 to 5.15 sessions). Of the 6 studies of postdischarge delivery interventions, 1 found increased adherence with service referral in patients who received community nurse home visits compared with simple placement referral at discharge (RR=1.28; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.56). The 3 ED transition intervention studies reported (1) reduced risk of subsequent suicide after brief ED intervention and postdischarge contact (RR=0.10; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.41); (2) reduced suicide-related hospitalizations when ED visits were followed up with interim, psychiatric care (RR=0.41; 95% CI 0.28 to 0.60); and (3) increased likelihood of treatment completion when psychiatric evaluation in the ED was followed by attendance of outpatient sessions with a parent (odds ratio=2.78; 95% CI 1.20 to 6.67). CONCLUSION: Transition interventions appear most promising for reducing suicide-related outcomes and improving post-ED treatment adherence. Use of similar interventions and outcome measures in future studies would enhance the ability to derive strong recommendations from the clinical evidence in this area.

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