The general trend across categories of frequency was for the association of psychiatric comorbidity to increase in magnitude, indicating that this combination of disorders might be an important risk factor for especially heavy use of the ED. It should be noted, however, that the 95% confidence intervals in the higher visit categories grew wide due to the smaller numbers of patients with higher numbers of visits, and thus, caution should be
used in attributing Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical robustness to the relationship to especially heavier use. Clinically speaking, the Olaparib IC50 nonsignificant association of psychiatric comorbidity to higher categories of use among the polyinhibitor Enzastaurin substance group was surprising. A dissimilar mixture of substance use patterns lumped together in this diagnostic category might have contributed to the weaker relationship. As well, this group contained the highest proportion of females and had the youngest mean age, and these factors might have also contributed to the weaker association with ED use. Further research is clearly needed to better understand service use and other outcomes Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical associated with polysubstance use/psychiatric comorbidity. Several limitations of this study should be noted. First, the data come from one facility, and may only be generalizable to urban community EDs in the southern United States. Further, the data come from an administrative database and
the variables available for analysis Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical were limited. Inclusion of measures such as severity of illness, income, and education would have been optimal. Also, it should be noted that no adjustment for risk to use ED services was available. Those that resided in the area longer had greater opportunity Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to use the ED and to be observed with a substance use condition Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical than those who were more geographically
mobile. It is plausible that persons with comorbid substance use disorders were more mobile during the study period than persons with psychiatric disorders alone, and if so, the observed relationships between comorbid substance use and ED frequency are likely underestimated. Most importantly, it should be noted that the data do not allow for a strict designation of causality. It is possible that the association between numbers of visits and comorbid psychiatric disorders could be opposite to the hypothesis–i.e., that a greater number of visits to the ED increases the probability Cilengitide that psychiatric disorders will be detected. Conclusion Despite the study’s limitations, and in light of its strengths (large, multi-year design with a closely validated administrative data collection process), the findings have important clinical and policy implications. If these findings are replicated in other ED settings, interventions should be developed to improve identification, referral, and appropriate treatment of substance use disorders in this comorbid population. Our data indicate that particular attention be paid to alcohol and cocaine use.