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Audit of acute psychiatric presentations during New Zealand's first COVID-19 national lockdown.

Authors
  • Ng, Lillian1, 2, 1
  • Narayanan, Nishanth1, 1
  • Diamond, Danielle1, 1
  • Pitigala, Niru1
  • 1 Counties Manukau Health, Auckland, New Zealand. , (New Zealand)
  • 2 Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand. , (New Zealand)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2022
Volume
30
Issue
2
Pages
223–228
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/10398562211052918
PMID: 34695363
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In this study, we aimed to identify service user demographic and clinical characteristics of an acute mental health service in South Auckland during the first New Zealand coronavirus-related lockdown. We conducted a clinical audit of a sample of service users presenting to a district health board's acute adult mental health service during New Zealand's level-4 lockdown in 2020 and made comparisons to a sample from 2019. We identified demographic factors, living situation, mode of referral, mode of assessment, diagnosis, substance use, risks, stressors, use of mental health act legislation and follow-up. During the first level-4 lockdown fewer Ma¯ori were assessed, police referrals increased, specific stressors related to confinement were identified and there was an increase in risks relating to self-harm and harm to others. Service users had unique stressors and changing patterns of presentation during the level-4 New Zealand lockdown. In response to the changing needs of service users during a pandemic, we recommend optimising telehealth, enhancing connections with other essential services, development of digital interventions and care for frontline staff.

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