OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe the social demographics and clinical profile of patients referred to the psychiatry service within the local Queensland metropolitan Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).
METHOD: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients referred to the psychiatry service provided at three clinics of a metropolitan AMS, over an 18-month period. Medical records were accessed to determine demographic and diagnostic information.
RESULTS: Diagnostically, 53% of patients had mood/anxiety disorders, 10% psychosis, 23% substance use and 14% with other diagnoses. There was approximately 50% non-attendance rate with no statistical difference between gender and age groups. The highest proportion of non-attenders within age groups was males 45-54 years old. The patients needed to travel an average of 20 km to attend the AMS.
CONCLUSION: The high non-attendance rates, and proportionately more males within the age group 45-54 years who were more likely to not attend their mental health appointments, suggested a target area for outreach services which have been implemented in the AMS. Some of the recommended solutions included confirming attendance the day prior and supporting with transport. This study highlighted the large distance that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must travel to access culturally appropriate service.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2023|