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Abstract

Introduction : Male adolescents’ mental health has been understudied compared to their female counterparts and is not well known among health professionals. This is particularly problematic in emergencies because the number of such patients is increasing. Objectives : To identify the type of demand for care and the characteristics of male adolescents’ emergency room visits. To describe the sociodemographic data and clinical characteristics of regular users. Method : This is a retrospective study of all medical records of male adolescents aged 14–18, admitted between 2014 and 2015 to the pediatric emergency room of a Swiss university hospital. Sociodemographic and clinical data (e.g., degree of urgency, diagnosis, length of stay, emergency service use, and emergency discharge destinations) were collected. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed using STATA 13.1 software. Results : Over the 2-year study period, 2045 male adolescents consulted in emergency departments for a total of 3199 admissions. The average age was 15.6 years (SD, 1). Most consultations were non-urgent (93%) and the reasons included musculoskeletal (43%), dermatological (13%), and digestive (10%) complaints. Forty-two male adolescents (2%) had four or more visits within the 2-year period and were considered regular users; they were also more likely to have psychological complaints (adjusted OR, 5.04; 95% CI, 1.81–13.72) and comorbidities (adjusted OR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.25–5.21) when compared to their counterparts with fewer than four visits. Conclusion : Since regular users are at greater risk of having psychological complaints and comorbidities during their first emergency room visit, a systematic assessment of these adolescents’ mental health levels and overall health indicators is recommended.

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