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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1996 Feb;30(1):82-9.

Progress and evaluation of a consultation-liaison psychiatry service to an obstetric-gynaecology hospital.

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  • 1Mercy Hospital for Women, East Melbourne, Victoria.



Recently we described the establishment and first 6 months of a psychiatric consultation-liaison service to a Melbourne obstetric-gynaecology teaching hospital. The follow-up report evaluates the service in two ways: first, it compares referral data for the 12 months of 1992 with that of the first 6 months of operation in 1990; and second, it reports on results of a survey of referrer and patient satisfaction with the service.


Referral data were collected for the data comparison from the consultation-liaison referral book and patients' files. Referrer and patient satisfaction was evaluated by questionnaires sent to 45 medical staff, 7 charge nurses, and 100 consecutive patients.


A fairly constant referral rate for inpatients has emerged at 0.8%, this very low referral rate being some cause for concern. An internal shift in the type of referrals over time has developed, with an increase in obstetric and a decrease in gynaecology referrals. High referrer satisfaction, with 86% of the doctors finding the consultation(s) "very" or "quite" helpful, and high patient satisfaction, with 83% of respondents having found the consultation(s) "very" or "quite" helpful, was found.


Despite high referrer and consumer satisfaction, and objective evidence of need, this pioneering consultation-liaison service in obstetric-gynaecology continues to be grossly under-utilised. Increasing the referral rate will be one of the greatest challenges in the future of this service.

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