Salud Mental

Factors related to psychiatric calls to the Prehospital Emergency care services in Málaga (Spain)


José Guzmán-Parra
Ana Isabel Martínez-García
Cristobalina Guillén-Benítez
Serafina Castro-Zamudio
Manolo Jiménez-Hernández
Berta Moreno-Küstner


Introduction. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the demand for prehospital emergency care in different countries.

Objective. The aim of the present study was to identify the variables associated with psychiatric calls to the Prehospital Emergency Care Services (PECS) in the province of Malaga.

Method. An observational retrospective study based on calls made to the PECS and registered in the computerized database of the Coordination Emergency Centre during one year (N = 163 331). Independent variables included 1. sociodemographic variables: sex and age; and 2. variables related with the characteristics of each call: time of day, type of day, time of year, caller identification, number of resources needed, number of patients attended and type of solution. The χ2 test was used to compare of the variables. A multivariant logistic regression analysis was also carried out.

Results. Psychiatric calls accounted for 7% of the total calls and were associated with: younger age, female gender, calls made in the evenings and afternoons, a lower number of patients attended, the call being performed by other individual calling on the patient’s behalf, and no ambulance transportation.

Discussion and conclusion. The calls concerned with mental health problems have specific characteristics which need to be taken into account in order to provide a better care for psychiatric patients.

Prehospital Emergency Care, mental health, utilization