Objective: Anxiety and depression are common pediatric mental health diagnoses seen in emergency departments (EDs), and trends in ED visits for anxiety and depression provide an important metric for epidemiologic monitoring of pediatric mental illness. This study was undertaken to examine trends in ED encounters and hospitalizations for anxiety and depression among youth in Illinois. Methods: We examined ED encounters and subsequent hospitalizations from 2016 to 2017 among patients aged 5–19 years old with a principal diagnosis of anxiety or depression retrospectively using the Illinois Hospital Association Comparative Health Care and Hospital Data Reporting Services (COMPdata) for 190 nonfederal Illinois hospitals. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of hospital admission through the ED. Results: After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, from 2016 to 2017, youth were more likely to be hospitalized if they had depression (odds ratio [OR] 4.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.23–6.37), and had a secondary mental health diagnosis of serious mental illness (OR 4.83, CI 3.40–6.84), suicide attempt (OR 3.69, CI 2.55–5.32) or substance use (OR 3.55, CI 2.89–4.31). Hospital admissions were less likely for youth if they were Hispanic (OR 0.71, CI 0.52–0.98), on Medicaid (OR 0.68, CI 0.51–0.90), and seen on the weekend (OR 0.80, CI 0.70–0.91). Conclusions: Hospitalizations for anxiety and depression among youth in Illinois are often compounded by serious mental illness, suicide attempts, and substance use, but disparities exist in hospital admissions among Hispanics and youth on Medicaid.
- emergency department
- mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health