Sociodemographic Influences of Emergency Department Care for Anxiety Disorders

  • Tyra DarkEmail author
  • George Rust
  • Heather A. Flynn
  • Heidi Kinsell
  • Jeffrey S. Harman


This study examines variations in content of care for anxiety-related emergency department (ED) visits in the USA across various sociodemographic strata. The 2009–2012 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was used to identify all visits to general hospital EDs in which an anxiety diagnosis was recorded (n = 1930). Content and equitability of care was assessed utilizing logistic regression models. There were an estimated 1,856,000 ED visits with anxiety-related discharge diagnoses in the USA annually. Content of care and disposition varied by age, race/ethnicity, and insurance status. Visits by Medicaid patients were more likely than visits by privately insured patients to include a toxicology screen (OR = 1.67, p < .05) and visits by patients with either Medicaid or Medicare were less likely to include an EKG (OR = 0.53, p < .05 and OR = 0.52, p < .05, respectively). Understanding variations in ED care for anxiety can identify opportunities for intervention, both in the ED and upstream in appropriate healthcare settings.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyra Dark
    • 1
    Email author
  • George Rust
    • 1
  • Heather A. Flynn
    • 1
  • Heidi Kinsell
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Harman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social MedicineFlorida State University College of MedicineTallahasseeUSA

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