Iranian Journal of Psychiatry 2016. 11(4):201-205.

Psychopathology of the General Population Referred by Primary Care Physicians for Urgent Assessment in Psychiatric Hospitals
Judith McLenan, Carlo Lazzari, Gail McMillan, Robert Mackie

Abstract


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the type, severity and progression of psychiatric pathologies in a sample of 372 outpatients (age range 18–65 years) referred by their primary general practitioners (GPs) to an Urgent Referral Team (URT) based in a psychiatric hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland. This team offers immediate appointments (1- to 7-day delays) for rapid assessments and early interventions to the outpatients referred by their primary family doctors.

Method: One-sample t-test and z statistic were used for data analysis. From the total population, a convenience sample of 40 people was selected and assessed to evaluate whether follow-up appointments after the first visit could reduce the severity of suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety in the outpatients seen by the URT. A two-sample t-test and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to assess the variations in the scores during the follow-up visits.

Results: We found a statistically significant prevalence of depressive disorders, comorbid with anxiety at first presentation in people who were females, white, never married, living with a partner, not studying and not in paid employment. The common presentation of borderline personality disorder and dysthymia in this population underscores its vulnerability to major socioeconomic challenges.

Conclusion: The data confirmed the impact that primary care cooperation with psychiatric hospitals can have on the psychiatric system, and as a reflection, on the population’s mental health and well-being. In fact, active cooperation and early diagnosis and intervention will help detect cases at risk in the general population and reduce admissions into hospitals.


Keywords


Depression, Personality Disorders, Primary Health Care, Psychopathology, Suicide

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