Perceptions of Appropriateness of Psychiatric Referrals by Healthcare Professionals in a General Hospital
American Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages: 19-23
Received: Apr. 3, 2019; Accepted: Jun. 2, 2019; Published: Jun. 12, 2019
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Leslie Lim, Department of Psychiatry, Singapore General Hospital, Republic of Singapore
Jeremy Heng, Department of Psychiatry, Singapore General Hospital, Republic of Singapore
Yiong Huak Chan, Biostatistics Unit, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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Objective: We assessed hospital staff recognition of certain psychiatric symptoms and whether they considered it appropriate to refer patients with these symptoms to the consultation-liaison psychiatric service. Methods: An online questionnaire was sent to all healthcare professionals working in the hospital. We presented several vignettes describing the typical symptoms and behaviors of a case of schizophrenia, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, delirium and dementia. Staff were asked whether they considered it appropriate for a patient with these symptoms to be referred to the psychiatrist. Results: Doctors were significantly more likely to endorse psychiatric referrals for depression (p = 0.023) and schizophrenia (p < 0.001). Although there appeared to be non- significant responses for the remaining conditions, within group analyses suggested that the more experienced staff and foreign born and foreign trained staff were more likely to endorse psychiatric referrals for anxiety, dementia and delirium. Conclusions: Knowledge deficits exist among hospital staff in our hospital. This highlights the possibility of non- detection and non-referral of certain psychiatric comorbidities among patients receiving medical care.
Psychiatric Referrals, General Hospital, Mental Health Literacy
To cite this article
Leslie Lim, Jeremy Heng, Yiong Huak Chan, Perceptions of Appropriateness of Psychiatric Referrals by Healthcare Professionals in a General Hospital, American Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 19-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajpn.20190701.14
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