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J Intellect Disabil Res. 1997 Dec;41 ( Pt 6):519-26.

The prevalence of people with intellectual disability admitted to general hospital psychiatric units: level of handicap, psychiatric diagnoses and care utilization.

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Department of Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Previous studies have stated that people with intellectual disability (ID) are more often afflicted by psychiatric disorders than the general population. In spite of the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among people with ID, it is not known how many actually receive psychiatric in-patient care and treatment by the mental health services. In the present study, the number of people with mild and severe ID admitted to in-patient psychiatric care were compared with corresponding figures in the general population in Sweden. The results show a low frequency of psychiatric care utilization among people with ID and coexisting psychiatric disorders in comparison to the proportion of psychiatric care utilization among people with psychiatric disorders in the general population. The results are discussed in terms of how the level of ID might influence referral or diagnoses, the length of admissions, and the support provided within the special services to people with ID and psychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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