Original Article

A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Emergency Physicians in Management of Patients with Mental Health Disorders in the City of Hyderabad, India


  • Akshay Bhargav
  • Imron Subhan
  • Namita Singh

Received Date: 21.09.2016 Accepted Date: 14.11.2016 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2016;15(4):163-166


To know if Emergency Physicians (EPs) screen mental health (MH) disorders in patients. This study aims at finding out the current knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of EPs and their departmental policies in management of patients with MH disorders.

Materials and methods:

A personal interview based on a questionnaire was conducted with 117 EPs working in 38 multi-specialty hospitals (with minimum 50 total bed strength) across Hyderabad city, India during June 2015 to August 2015. The respondents had at least one year of experience in core emergency medicine.


85% of EPs understand MH disorders are a major healthcare burden and over 90% of them have seen mentally ill patients in Emergency Department (ED). Yet 85% rarely evaluate MH of patients. Over 2/3rd don’t know any criteria of diagnosing depression and only 14% have received some training in managing MH issues of patients. 84% physicians said that their departments do not have a MH policy and 82% believe this is a major reason that evaluation of MH is ignored. 44% EPs say their attitude towards these patients is influenced by their personal experiences.


MH evaluation of patients is neglected in EDs. Overall management of mentally ill patients is inconsistent. Absence of a departmental MH policy and lack of training in EPs are major causes.

Keywords: Mental health evaluation, emergency physicians, emergency departments, knowledge attitude practices, mental health disorders