Assistant Professor University of Alabama at Birmingham The University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Background: Increased use of internet connecting Electronic Devices (EDs) by children and adolescents (C&As) has led to concerning reports that use can be associated with worsening psychiatric symptoms, such as depression
Objective: To explore the frequency with which ED use by C&As is associated with psychiatric emergencies requiring hospitalization
Design/Methods: Chart reviews were undertaken for all patients admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital Wasatch Canyons psychiatry unit from 2/1/2018 to 6/1/2018 (n=269). For each patient, the ER note, the psychiatric admission and the psychosocial evaluation were read for evidence of historical reports of ED use as a meaningful part of the events leading to hospitalization. A brief, qualitative description of this use was maintained for each patient that met this standard.Chi-square analyses were performed on frequency data, described below.
Results: 46 C&As were hospitalized with reports of meaningfully related use of EDs, representing 17% of total hospitalized patients. Fig1 represents the percentage of identified patients by months of hospitalization; differences were not statistically significant, X2(3,46)=1.43,p=.69. A review of qualitative data revealed several temporal points in the psychiatric emergency in which EDs were involved: early (prior to onset of symptoms), middle (as symptoms unfold) and late (as the emergency moves toward hospitalization). Males and females were not distributed differentially across temporal points in the psychiatric emergency,X2(2,46)=.70,p=.70. Males and females were significantly different in the manner in which EDs were involved in the earliest point, where the qualitative data suggested two kinds of engagement: Hospitalization for males occurred more frequently after external limitations were placed on desired ED use; for females, hospitalization occurred more frequently after they generated an emotional reaction to content on the ED, X2(1,19)=4.86,p=.02, Fig. 2. Conclusion(s): EDs are frequently cited by patients/families as contributing to events leading to psychiatric hospitalizations; in this study, 17% of all pediatric psychiatric hospitalizations during the time frame sampled met this criterion. Differences between male and female pediatric psychiatrically hospitalized patients are noted regarding ED use early in the episode that leads to hospitalization, with females responding to the content communicated by the ED rather than by management of the ED by others.
Percentage of psychiatric hospitalizations with meaningful ED involvement do not differ across months sampled.
ED involvement leading to psychiatric hospitalization differs between male and female patients.
Authors/Institutions: Debra V. McQuade, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Homewood, Alabama, United States; Phillip Johnson, Indiana University Health Inc, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States; Yen Johnson, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States; Matthew R. Meek, The University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States