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Forty of 66 consecutive admissions to a psychiatric inpatient unit were encouraged to read their admission notes and discuss them with the junior doctor. The offer was withheld for two patients with organic impairment. Twenty-eight patients (including 12 on compulsory admissions) accepted the offer. The 12 who refused were characterised by overall lower educational attainment. Diagnosis raised only a few problems, prognosis and maintenance treatment being the locus of most discussions. There was no evidence of a deterioration in the quality of notes or therapeutic relationships as a consequence of access. Only in one case was the exercise judged 'harmful', but 'useful or essential' in 22. Possible benefits for both patients and doctor are explored.


Journal article


Psychiatric Bulletin

Publication Date





87 - 90