Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 167-171

A cross-sectional descriptive study of prevalence and nature of psychiatric referrals from intensive care units in a multispecialty hospital

Department of Psychiatry, KLE University's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Raghavendra B Nayak
Department of Psychiatry, KLE University's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.92063

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Context: The prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in general hospital range from 20% to 60%. Presence of psychiatric morbidity compounds the disability and suffering in medical patients. There is a limited literature on the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in patients admitted in the intensive care units (ICUs). Aims: The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and nature of comorbid psychiatric illness in the cases referred from ICUs. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional observational study. Materials and Methods: This study included all the consecutive patients referred from different ICUs to psychiatry department for consultation during the four-year period from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2003, assessment was done by psychiatrist and diagnosis was made using ICD-10. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics. Results: There were 309 (1.97%) referrals from ICUs to psychiatry department during the period of study. Among the referred patients, diagnosis of organic mental disorders was the commonest psychiatric diagnosis present in 104 (33.65%) patients followed by suicidal attempt in 101 (32.69%); anxiety disorders in 40 (12.94%); depressive disorders in 21 (6.8%); Psychotic illness in 10 (3.24%); other psychiatric illnesses in 28 (9.06%); and nil psychiatric illness in 5 (1.62%) patients. Conclusion: Prevalence of psychiatric referrals from ICUs was low. This could be due to stigma and lack of awareness among physicians. There is increased need for recognition and treatment of comorbid psychiatric illness by the treating physicians which may help to decrease morbidity and overall cost of the treatment.

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