(PO-149) A Study of the Relationship of Undiagnosed Mental Illness to Violence in an Urban Emergency Department- Protocol Update
Objective: To determine if there was a relationship between those that tested positive for violence also testing positive for an undiagnosed mental illness.
Methods: The random sample population consisted of consenting and assenting 16-24-year-old patients, who presented at an inner city level-1 ED or inpatient with a medical complaint and documented history of violence/violence victimization. Research fellows administered the Short Gun Questionnaire, NYC Youth Violence Survey, and SAGE Baseline Survey which assess violence exposure from the number of questions answered positively and to what degree. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview was subsequently administered to screen for mental illness. This study is IRB approved.
Results: A total of 189 patients were enrolled in the study. 45.5% (n=85) of subjects screened positive for a mental illness, with depression being the most common (24%, n=45). Subjects who presented with trauma-related injuries screened positively for mental illness at a statistically significant higher rate than non-trauma subjects (F=5.575, p=0.04). Subjects who screened positive for mental illness also responded with significantly higher levels of carrying a gun as compared to those that did not screen positive (F=7.526, p=0.001).
Conclusions: This study suggests that there may be a correlation between mental illness and risk of violence/victimization in this population. There were high levels of undiagnosed mental illness, especially MDD within our subject pool. These findings suggest that it may be beneficial to screen this population for depression and perhaps other mental illnesses.
To provide information about the risk of undiagnosed mental illness in violent patient populations
To identify a way to test for undiagnosed mental illness in the Emergency Medicine setting.
To identify what mental illnesses are most seen in this population.