A descriptive study of pattern, clinical and demographical profile of inpatient psychiatry referrals in a tertiary care teaching hospital
Raw data for the study undertaken, includes deidentified patient details. Consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatry as a subspecialty has been defined as the area of clinical psychiatry that encompasses clinical understanding, teaching, research activities of psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals in the non-psychiatric divisions of a general hospital. There exist numerous inpatients in a tertiary care hospital having a psychiatric disorder along with medical axis. The amount of research in India in field of Consultation liaison is strikingly low. Objective: to investigate the socio demographic profile, psychiatric subtypes and physical subtypes of illness in patients admitted in other departments who were referred to dept. of psychiatry. Methodology: The study population comprised all consecutive inpatients who were referred for psychiatric consultation from other departments of a Multispecialty Tertiary care teaching hospital over a period of three months. In a semi-structured proforma, socio-demographic profile of patients, referring departments, reason of referral, urgency of opinion, psychiatric diagnosis, and physical illness diagnosis were recorded and analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: Overall 172 patients were assessed after referral from various departments, of which 56.4% were males and 43.6% were females. Mean age was about 34 years with majority of patients in age group of 21-30 years. Maximum referrals were from department of Medicine with the most common reason of referral being abnormal behaviour (26.2%) followed by alleged suicidal attempt or self-harm (24.4%), anxiety (10.5%), substance use (10%) and disorientation (7.6%). Most common psychiatric disorder among the patients were depressive disorder (24.4%), followed by substance use disorder (19.7%), schizophrenia and psychotic disorder (9.3%), stress and trauma related disorder (8.1%). Conclusion: There is a dire need for interdepartmental information dissemination, basic understanding of psychiatry, early symptom recognition, swift referral and ensuring follow-up. Studies which have been published in relation to the inpatient Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry services have been silent on the functional aspect of the services.