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Home > Subjective experiences of mental health crisis care in emergency departments: a narrative review of the qualitative literature.

Roennfeldt, Helena and Wyder, Marianne and Byrne, Louise and Hill, Nicole and Randall, Rory and Hamilton, Bridget (2021) Subjective experiences of mental health crisis care in emergency departments: a narrative review of the qualitative literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (18), . doi: 10.3390/ijerph18189650.

External website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC84717...

Mental health presentations to the emergency department (ED) have increased, and the emergency department has become the initial contact point for people in a mental health crisis. However, there is mounting evidence that the ED is not appropriate nor effective in responding to people in mental health crises. Insufficient attention has been paid to the subjective experience of people seeking support during a mental health crisis. This review aims to describe the qualitative literature involving the subjective experiences of people presenting to the ED during a mental health crisis. The method was guided by Arksey and O'Malley's framework for scoping studies and included keyword searches of PsycINFO, CINAHL, Medline and Embase. A narrative analysis, drawing on the visual tool of journey mapping, was applied to summarise the findings. Twenty-three studies were included.

The findings represent the experience of accessing EDs, through to the impact of treatment. The review found points of opportunity that improve people's experiences and characteristics associated with negative experiences. The findings highlight the predominance and impact of negative experiences of the ED and the incongruence between the expectations of people presenting to the ED and the experience of treatment.


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