October 1971

Psychiatrists, Employers, and Information Exchange

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(4):381-384. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750160093016

Maintaining patients closely tied to their everyday patterns of living is a current major thrust in psychiatry. Achieving this, however, will depend upon our relationships with extramedical settings such as the employment world. Accordingly, a sample of 898 physicians, representing nine categories of psychiatric practice, was surveyed regarding attitudes about information exchange with work settings. Overall response rate was 61%. In general, the need to offer supportive counsel to employers was recognized (76%). However, third party intervention was preferred over direct exchange. Special areas of concern, such as confidentiality, patient privacy, and treatment considerations, were explored. Generally, significant subspecialty variance was demonstrated and appeared tied largely to public domain vs private practice identifications, with the latter groups showing proportionately a greater inclination to separate the treatment situation from employment problems.