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October 1978

Hospital Surveys of Prescribing Practices With Psychotherapeutic Drugs: A Critical Examination

Author Affiliations

From the Psychopharmacology Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md (Drs Prien and Balter), and the Department of Professional Services, Veterans Administration, Washington, DC (Dr Caffey).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(10):1271-1275. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770340115014

• Hospital surveys of psychotherapeutic drug prescribing in the United States have been generally critical of the treatment practices of physicians and have been used to support claims that psychotherapeutic drugs are overprescribed and misused. This report examines several recent multihospital surveys of psychotherapeutic drug use and concludes that the surveys have failed to provide sufficient information to determine the appropriateness of treatment practices. The limitations of these surveys and the need to develop more adequate information about physician prescribing patterns are discussed.

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