March 1977

A Contrast of the Three More Common Illnesses With the Ten Less Common in a Study and 18-Month Follow-up of 314 Psychiatric Emergency Room PatientsI. Characteristics of the Sample and Methods of Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Dr Munoz is currently in private practice in Sheboygan, Wis, and Dr Marten is in private practice in Springfield, Ill.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(3):259-265. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770150017001

• The present study combines four factors: an initial research interview, a blind follow-up of the patients seen initially, the use of specified diagnostic criteria, and the application of these techniques to a psychiatric emergency room population of 314 patients. Follow-up studies were done in 299 patients (95%) a mean of 18.2 months after the initial interview. The patients were described diagnostically and demographically. There were three more common diagnoses: affective disorder, alcoholism, and antisocial personality. There were ten additional less common diagnoses, as well as an undiagnosed group and a group without diagnosis. There were single diagnoses in 190 patients and multiple diagnoses in the remaining 124 patients. Three diagnoses or less per patient were not uncommon; more than three diagnoses per patient were uncommon. Diagnoses of affective disorder, alcoholism, and antisocial personality occurred in 64% of the total number of diagnoses. The remainder of the diagnoses occurred in 36%. Prompt hospitalization occurred in 14% of the total sample.