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February 1987

Psychiatric Consultations in Short-term General Hospitals

Author Affiliations

From the Hospital Studies Program (Dr Wallen) and the Division of Extramural Research (Dr Marcus), National Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology Assessment, Rockville, Md; the Office of Research, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC (Dr Pincus); and the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore (Dr Goldman). Drs Pincus and Goldman were at the National Institute of Mental Health when this article was written.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(2):163-168. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800140073010

• We investigated the use of psychiatric consultations in short-term general hospitals using a national sample of 327 hospitals and examining the hospital experience of approximately 263 000 patients discharged from these hospitals. We found that the demographic characteristics of patients receiving psychiatric consultations in the national sample were roughly similar to those reported for patients receiving consultations in earlier, single-hospital studies. Rates of consultation were considerably lower, however: 0.9%, compared with a median rate of 3.3% reported in the literature. We also found that patients receiving psychiatric consultations used more hospital resources than other patients.

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