A prospective study of 60 consecutive psychiatric consultations in a family medicine clinic.

W. Katon, P. Williamson, R. Ries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper describes a prospective study collating demographic, medical, psychiatric, and illness behavior characteristics of 60 consecutive patients referred for consultation to a psychiatric liaison physician attending in a family medical clinic. The data were accumulated to add to the developing body of information about the characteristic psychosocial problems family physicians treat. Results showed that the most frequent psychiatric diagnosis in these patients was primary affective disorder depression. The presence of somatic complaints often obscured the recognition and management of psychiatric syndromes such as depression, anxiety neurosis, personality disorder, family and marital discord, psychosis, and alcoholism. The importance of training in psychopharmacology and time limited psychotherapy was underscored by the frequent consultant recommendations for the use of these treatment modalities by the family physician. Patients averaged 2.4 illness problems (psychosocial problems and reactions that arise from a perceived illness), pointing to the need to systematically evaluate and treat them concomitantly with traditional disease problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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