Referrals to Psychiatry in a Rural teaching Hospital
*Vishwak Reddy V1, Anil V1, Datt2
1Post Graduate student, 2Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatry, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, Nalgonda dist, Telangana state, India
Background: There is a pressing need to improve the Consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatry services both in hospitals and the community. In India General Hospital Psychiatric Units were established in 1930s, but CL psychiatry has never been the focus of training or research. Studying the referrals to psychiatry will be a useful indicator of psychiatric awareness among the clinicians and their intent to utilize the available services. Outcomes of such studies may give us new insights to develop the field of CL psychiatry.
Methodology: This study includes all the referrals to the department of psychiatry over a period of three years from the inpatient and outpatient services of other disciplines of the hospital. Collected data includes socio- demographic features, referral profile and clinical details of the patients.
Observations and results: The referral rate is 0.18%. Of the 680 referrals, most of the referrals were from general medicine (65.7%), the commonest reason for referral being evaluation of abnormal behavior (24.2%). Psychiatric illness was found in 85.7% of the patients and the most common diagnosis was substance use disorders (21.5%).
Conclusion: In the present study the referral profiles indicate underutilization of the available psychiatric services. This warrants a probe into the reasons, as CL psychiatry is the key for the deliverance of comprehensive health care.