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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1996 Sep;94(3):156-62.

Determinants of decision-making in the screening procedure of a community psychiatric service.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatric Demography, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus, Risskov, Denmark.


This study is a predictor analysis of the screening procedure followed by a psychiatric service for a period of 1 year preceding and a period of 1 year following the introduction of community psychiatry. Throughout this period, the psychiatric service consisted of a local service within the catchment area and a central service at a psychiatric hospital outside the area. At the time of the reorganization, the responsibility for the psychiatric service was transferred from the public health authorities to the social services. Before the reorganization, screenings were conducted on the basis of referral papers or simply as a result of telephone communication. After the reorganization, the screening procedure was intensified by means of a pre-examination. One aim of the reorganization was to ensure that the severely mentally ill take priority over patients characterized predominantly by social strain. Patients with manic-depressive psychosis and other psychoses showed a significantly increased probability of being accepted for treatment, whereas those with schizophrenia showed no significant increase, irrespective of the service reorganization. Similarly, manic-depressive psychosis and other psychoses (not schizophrenia) were significant predictors of hospitalization at the mental hospital outside the catchment area as well as hospitalization in the local facilities, irrespective of the service reorganization. Indicators of social strain were not given higher priority following the service reorganization.

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