The long-term outcome of psychiatric morbidity detected in general medical patients
Psychiatric disorder detected in general medical patients was found in many cases to persist during an 18 month follow-up period. This was likely in patients with a history of psychiatric referral in the past. Although physicians referred to psychiatrists the majority of their patients likely to develop persistent psychiatric disorder, they failed to refer several such patients. The presence of psychiatric disorder during hospital admission, as well as older age, was associated with an increased subsequent mortality rate. Clearly psychiatric disorder detected in general patients has important implications. Further research is required to identify clinically important sub-groups of such patients, to evaluate the provision of psychiatric intervention for them, and to elucidate the nature of the association between psychiatric distrubance and increased risk of dying. © 1981.