Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 605-610

Reactions to psychiatry referral in patients presenting with physical complaints to medical and surgical outpatient services


1 Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Career Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Shubh Mohan Singh
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_402_16

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Background: While it is well known that patients with psychiatric illness feel stigmatized, little is known about the reactions to a psychiatric referral among those who visit general hospital medical and surgical services for their complaints. Materials and Methods: This study assessed the sociodemographic details, psychiatric diagnosis, somatic symptom severity, and interview-based reactions to referral among patients referred to psychiatry services from other departments in a general tertiary hospital in North India. Fifty-nine males and 101 females were assessed over 6 months for this purpose. Results: A majority of patients were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and had significant somatic symptom severity. The themes explored were the decision to accept the referral, possibility of the presence of mental illness as signified by a psychiatric diagnosis and factors that enabled or impeded psychiatric treatment seeking. Conclusions: Results indicate that patients did not empower in decision-making, a reluctance to accept the possibility of a psychiatric diagnosis and accept medication and had poor knowledge about psychiatry. Referring clinicians and psychiatrists should be sensitive to patient perceptions so that better care is possible.


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