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August 27, 1982

Diagnostic Errors in the Evaluation of Behavioral Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Medical-Psychiatric Unit and Consultation-Liaison Service, St Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

JAMA. 1982;248(8):964-967. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080046027

In 215 patients referred to a specialized medical-psychiatric inpatient unit, thorough neuropsychiatric evaluation resulted in a therapeutically important alteration of the referring diagnosis in 41%. Of patients referred with a tentative diagnosis of dementia, 63% were found to have treatable conditions. Increased educational efforts and use of neuropsychiatric consultation services are suggested to minimize diagnostic errors in medical practice.

(JAMA 1982;248:964-967)