Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;78(4):414-6. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Psychiatric disorders in inpatients on a neurology ward: estimate of prevalence and usefulness of screening questionnaires.

Author information

  • 1Farnham Road Hospital, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7LX, UK.



Patients on neurology wards have been shown to have high rates of psychiatric illness. Prevalence figures of 39-64% have been reported previously. However a low rate of recognition of psychiatric illness is also observed in this population.


To estimate the prevalence of psychiatric illness in neurology inpatients in a regional neuroscience centre and to assess the sensitivity and specificity of a batch of screening questionnaires.


Patients were assessed using the following screening questionnaires: Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders, Mini Mental State Examination, Frontal Assessment Battery, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and a neurologist-rating scale of organicity. All patients also had a full psychiatric assessment using the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). The screening questionnaires were then compared with our "gold standard", the psychiatric assessment.


The prevalence of psychiatric illness (as determined by the psychiatric interview) in neurology inpatients in a tertiary referral centre was found to be 51.3% (95% confidence interval 44 to 58%). The sensitivity of this batch of screening questionnaires is 81.2% and the specificity is 77.1%.


A high prevalence of psychiatric disorder was observed in inpatients on a dedicated neurology ward. The screening questionnaires used had a high sensitivity and specificity and could therefore be used as a simple way of identifying those with psychiatric illness.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk