Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2, Summer 2005 (
PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY SERVICES:
A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND
A PROPOSED RESEARCH AGENDA
Jennifer Field Brown, M.S.N., Ph.D.
To gain a better understanding of the scope of previous research on psychiatric
emergency services (PES) and to identify areas of focus for future studies, the
author reviews PES literature published between 1983 and 2003. PES litera-
ture was identiﬁed by performing a MEDLINE search. The author was inter-
ested in studies or reviews of all types of PES. The refereed research, consisting
of 85 articles, is a representation of the existing literature as multiple studies
were found to be similar in topic and methodology. This review is organized us-
ing Donabedian’s structure, process, outcome framework to describe research
that has examined 1) providers, clients, and services; 2) variations in access,
utilization, evaluation, treatment, and continuity of care; and 3) outcomes of
these services. The resulting report reveals methodological limitations that are
pervasive throughout the PES literature, dimensions of psychiatric emergency
services that remain unexplored, and a PES research agenda.
KEY WORDS: mental health crisis services; psychiatric emergency services.
Jennifer Field Brown, M.S.N., Ph.D., is afﬁliated with Department of Health Adminis-
tration, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia.
Address correspondence to Jennifer Field Brown, M.S.N., Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
Department of Nursing, Norfolk State University; e-mail: email@example.com.
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.