This study analyses assessment, intervention and admission decisions made by emergency psychiatry residents, to determine whether these differ depending on the gender of the resident. Data from all patients presenting to a psychiatric emergency room were collected prospectively for a 3 months period as part of a local quality check project. A questionnaire was used to collect patient demographic data, diagnosis, treatment decisions and the personal and professional characteristics of the residents who performed the assessments. During the 3 months of the study period we obtained data on all 251 emergency assessments carried out by all six residents working in the service. These were 3 female and 3 male 3rd year residents in psychiatry. There was no difference between male and female residents concerning ICD-10 diagnostic assessment, adherence to local hospitalization criteria guidelines, psychotherapeutical and pharmacological treatments administered. A similar distribution between male and female residents was found for diagnoses. No difference was found in the rate of hospitalization decisions between male and female residents. However, surprisingly, there were more voluntary hospitalizations by the women residents (P = 0.035; χ2 = 4.443) and more involuntary admissions by the men residents (P = 0.005; χ2 = 7.643). There was no correlation between the gender of the patient and the assessment or hospitalization decision of either male or female residents. Although this study has methodological limitations, it suggests that female emergency psychiatry residents are more likely to propose voluntary hospitalizations.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 13, 2009
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