Psychiatric disorder in medical in-patients
Feldman E., Mayou R., Hawton K., Ardern M., Smith EB.
Four hundred and fifty-three general medical in-patients were screened for mood disorder (anxiety and depression), organic mental states and alcohol problems. Using the Present State Examination, affective disorder was identified in 14.6 per cent, being especially common in younger women. Organic psychiatric disorder was very common in the elderly, occurring in 31 per cent of those over 70 years, and 18 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women admitted to a drink problem. Mood disorder was not related to the type or severity of physical illness, but was significantly associated with previous psychiatric history and social problems. Two-thirds of those with mood disorder on admission who were still alive four months after discharge were improved. House officers and family doctors identified approximately half the cases of depression and anxiety, but house officers were no more likely to recognise the more severe cases than the milder ones. Organic psychiatric disorder was often missed, alcohol problems less so.