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Can J Psychiatry. 1987 Feb;32(1):5-9.

Geriatric referrals to a psychiatric consultation-liaison service.


Geriatric patients constitute a significant proportion of referrals to a psychiatric consultation-liaison service, accounting for 29% of referrals in the present study. Organic mental disorders, the most common psychiatric diagnosis, were identified in 51% of geriatric referrals. The next most common psychiatric conditions were affective disorders and adjustment disorders, each of which were diagnosed in 17% of geriatric referrals. Transfers to in-patient psychiatry were unusual and the most common recommendations were for psychotropic medications, further medical investigations, and for psychosocial and behavioural interventions to be carried out by the ward staff. Although more specialized psychogeriatric units and community treatment resources are necessary, it is likely that the general hospital setting will continue to be important in the diagnostic assessment and short-term management of medical-psychiatric problems in the elderly.

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