Police-related triage interventions for mental health-related incidents

Added August 24, 2020

Citation: Rodgers M, Thomas EW, Dalton JE, Harden M, Eastwood AJ. Police-related triage interventions for mental health-related incidents: a rapid evidence synthesis. Health Services and Delivery Research. 2019 Jun;7(20).

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services and others, including the police, involved in the care of people with health problems. Existing research on models of police-related mental health triage might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this rapid evidence synthesis, the authors searched for studies on the use of triage by police responding to someone experiencing a perceived mental health crisis. They restricted their search to articles published in English and did the search in November 2017. They included 5 systematic reviews of international research, as well as 8 primary quantitative studies and 8 primary qualitative studies all of which were from England. They concluded that most systematic reviews and primary studies were at risk of multiple biases because of their designs or a lack of reporting of methods.

What was found: Police-related mental health triage interventions were generally valued by staff and showed some positive effects on procedures and resources.

The effects of a strategic response by police officers and mental health professionals, and the most efficient pathway for them to provide mental health care to individuals are uncertain.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.