Utilization of healthcare and psychotropic medication in elderly and non-elderly people with first self-poisoning episodes: A nationwide population-based cohort study

C. Y. Wu, C. K. Chang, F. Y. Hsiao, Y. W. Lin, S. I. Wu*, K. L. Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: We investigated health service use patterns before the first self-poisoning (SP) episodes by age groups and genders using a population-based datasets. Methods: We identified 3465 people with a verified discharge diagnosis of SP from 1997 to 2006. Physical disorders, psychiatric diagnoses, psychotropic prescriptions and health service use one year and one month before the episodes were compared by age groups and genders. Results: Women younger than 65 years old were found to seek non-psychiatric outpatient services more in the month prior to SP episode (female 61.7% vs. male 50.5%, p < 0.001), while their male counterparts contacted the emergency care more in the previous month (male 9.9% vs. female 6.7%, p = 0.002) and a year before the episode for the ones older than 65 (male 39.8% vs. female 29.3%, p = 0.006). Females younger than 65 years old were prescribed more antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytics, with nearly half of them receiving anxiolytics in a year prior to their first self-poisoning episodes. Conclusions: The current analysis suggested age and gender disparities on health service utilizations and prescriptions of psychotropic agents among patients with first self-poison behaviors. Studies about this gender disparity to generate intervention strategies for the prevention of self-poisoning at early stages are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Healthcare utilization
  • Medical-seeking behavior
  • Population-based study
  • Self-harm
  • Self-poisoning

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