Changes in monthly unemployment rates may predict changes in the number of psychiatric presentations to emergency services in South Australia

Niranjan Bidargaddi, Tarun Bastiampillai, Geoff Schrader, Robert Adams, Cynthia Piantadosi, Jorg Strobel, Graeme Tucker, Robert Allison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: To determine the extent to which variations in monthly Mental Health Emergency Department (MHED) presentations in South Australian Public Hospitals are associated with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly unemployment rates. Methods: Times series modelling of relationships between monthly MHED presentations to South Australian Public Hospitals derived from the Integrated South Australian Activity Collection (ISAAC) data base and the ABS monthly unemployment rates in South Australia between January 2004-June 2011. Results: Time series modelling using monthly unemployment rates from ABS as a predictor variable explains 69 % of the variation in monthly MHED presentations across public hospitals in South Australia. Thirty-two percent of the variation in current month's male MHED presentations can be predicted by using the 2 months' prior male unemployment rate. Over 63 % of the variation in monthly female MHED presentations can be predicted by either male or female prior monthly unemployment rates. Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight that even with the relatively favourable economic conditions, small shifts in monthly unemployment rates can predict variations in monthly MHED presentations, particularly for women. Monthly ABS unemployment rates may be a useful metric for predicting demand for emergency mental health services.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number16
    Number of pages6
    JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
    Volume15
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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