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UK Study Backs Mental Assessment for More Kids' Hospitalizations

UK Study Backs Mental Assessment for More Kids’ Hospitalizations

A new study has found that adolescents discharged from hospitals in England after an admission for violent, drug- or alcohol-related or self-inflicted injuries — known as adversity-related injuries — have increased risks of subsequent death and emergency readmission up to a decade later.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine, showed that in England, risks of death after all types of adversity-related injury were 61 percent higher in girls and 113 percent higher in boys.

Conducted by Annie Herbert, a doctoral student at University College London in the U.K., and her colleagues, the study found that adolescents who come to the hospital with an adversity-related injury often return later with other adversity-related injuries.

However, national guidance in England calls for psychosocial assessment only for presentations of self-inflicted injury.

To determine which adolescents are at elevated risk of further harm, Herbert and her colleagues used National Health Service hospital admissions data from 1997 into 2012 for 10-19 year olds with emergency admissions for adversity-related (333,009 adolescents) or accident-related injury (649,818 adolescents).

Among adolescents discharged after adversity-related injury, one in 137 girls and one in 64 boys died within 10 years, while 54.2 percent of girls and 40.5 percent of boys had a subsequent emergency readmission, the analysis discovered.

These rates were roughly one and a half to two times higher than after accident-related injury, according to the researchers.

Risks of death were highest in 18-19 year olds (one in 52 boys and one in 90 girls), and those with either chronic conditions (typically mental/behavioral or respiratory disorders for adolescents in this study) or who lived in deprived areas.

The findings identify a broader range of risk factors for subsequent harm, according to the researchers.

“These findings justify extending national policy for psychosocial assessment after self-inflicted injury to all types of adversity-related injury,” they conclude.

Source: PLOS
Critical patient photo by shutterstock.

UK Study Backs Mental Assessment for More Kids’ Hospitalizations

Janice Wood

Janice Wood is a long-time writer and editor who began working at a daily newspaper before graduating from college. She has worked at a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, covering everything from aviation to finance to healthcare.

APA Reference
Wood, J. (2018). UK Study Backs Mental Assessment for More Kids’ Hospitalizations. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 29 Dec 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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