Psychiatric consultation to elderly medical and surgical inpatients in a general hospital
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The elderly (65 years or older) constitute approximately 25% of the patients referred for psychiatric consultations in general hospitals. The authors compared the clinical characteristics of and treatment recommendations for elderly and younger (less than 65 years) patients. Our findings revealed fourteen distinctive characteristics which differentiated the elderly from the younger patients. Most notably, the elderly have had a longer hospitalization at the time of the request for a psychiatric consultation and had a higher prevalence of organic brain syndromes (O.B.S.). Some of the implications of these results are discussed with the view to planning psychiatric services for the elderly in general hospitals.
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