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S Afr Med J. 1978 Jul 15;54(3):113-5.

The first 100 patients in the Valkenberg Psychogeriatric Assessment Unit.


The Psychogeriatric Assessment Unit is a new development for the care of the psychiatrically ill geriatric patient. An analysis of the first 100 patients admitted to such a unit at Valkenberg Hospital, Cape Town, shows that the investigation and treatment of behavioural and psychiatric disturbances can be effectively done there. The unit is economical as regards staff and their time and achieves really surprising improvement for the majority of geriatric patients who would otherwise have had to be hospitalized for long periods or inadequately cared for by the community. Over 50% of the patients were suffering from depressive illnesses, many of which were associated with physical illness and isolation, and their response to therapy was excellent. The frequent concurrence of physical illness (in 20% of cases admission was for psychiatric symptoms) with rapid improvement after adequate medical treatment was noteworthy. It is essential to have a close association between physician and general medical services. The other finding worth commenting on is that 9 patients were admitted for confusion; in 7 of them this was due to drugs prescribed by medical practitioners.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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