Psychiatric disturbances in neurological patients: Detection, recognition, and Hospital Course

Authors

  • Dr. J. R. Depaulo Jr,

    MD, Corresponding author
    1. General Hospital Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    • Department of Psychiatry, Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore, MD 21224
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  • M. F. Folstein

    MD
    1. General Hospital Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
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Abstract

The Mini-Mental State and General Health Questionnaire were used to detect cognitive defects and emotional disturbances, respectively, in 126 consecutively admitted neurological patients. The Mini-Mental State was revalidated in this sample as a measure related to cerebral disorder. Sixty-seven percent of the patients tested had cognitive defect, emotional disturbance, or both. Thirty percent of the patients with psychiatric disturbance were not recognized by their physician. The majority of psychiatric disturbances persisted at the time of discharge.

Since psychiatric disturbances are common among neurological inpatients and are frequently unrecognized, further evaluation of the psychiatric training of neurologists is needed. Simple screening tests may help to increase the recognition of psychiatric disturbance. It is concluded that the Board requirement for neurologists to know psychiatry accurately reflects “the nature of their case material.”

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