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November 30, 1970

Psychological Motives for Medical Hospitalization

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

JAMA. 1970;214(9):1661-1665. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180090027005

Out of 102 unselected patients admitted to a general hospital 44 were found to be motivated in part by emotional distress. Of these 44 patients, only three were admitted to a psychiatric service and only 16 received psychiatric consultation. Of the 44 patients, only 13 could have been adequately managed, even in retrospect, without general hospitalization. Usually the ward physician was as ready as the psychiatrist to recognize emotionally motivated admissions; case histories of disagreements are used to suggest methods for improving the recognition of this group of patients.