Type of work

Chart review, Secondary data analysis

Type of student


Prerequisite skills

No prior research experience is necessary as a primary objective of this exercise is to learn about the research process

 In the past, Queensland, police officers and ambulance officers may detain and transport persons, who they reasonably believe are mentally ill, to a public hospital for assessment and treatment for up to six hours. This was stipulated under the Emergency Examination Order (EEO) provisions of the Mental Health Act 2000. However, from March 5, 2017 the EEO was superseded by the Emergency Examination Authority (EEA) provisions of the Public Health Act 2005. The EEA has a similar mandate except that the EEA criteria include disruptive persons (i.e. alcohol and drug intoxication) and can extend the detention period to 12 hours. The change can have significant implications to the number of presentations to the ED, ED length of stay, and patient outcomes.

The ED Research Team proposes to conduct a retrospective study of ED presentations under EEO and EEA, compare patient characteristics and outcomes. By having this understanding it will allow us to identify gaps in practice, focus educational updates to staff, improve mental health care in ED, and promote appropriate use of EEA.

Expected outcomes are a report and an oral presentation within the department. Opportunities for external presentations exist.

Suitable for any MD student with interest in developing research skills.