Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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BRIEF RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-55

Physical illnesses among psychiatric outpatients in a tertiary care health institution: A prospective study


Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Gurvinder Pal Singh
H. No. 1202, Sector 32B, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.31620

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Background: The recognition of physical illnesses by mental health professionals has important clinical implications. Aim: This study aimed to find the nature and prevalence of associated physical illnesses in psychiatric outpatients. Methods: Two hundred fifty consecutive psychiatric outpatients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the study were assessed in detail for associated physical illnesses. A conclusive physical diagnosis was based on the clinical history, general physical examination and investigation reports. Results: Forty-eight per cent of the patients were found to have associated physical illnesses. In about one­fifth of the total sample (n=51; 20.4%) the associated physical illness was diagnosed for the first time. Hypertension (29.1%), respiratory diseases (15%), anaemia (12.5%), diabetes mellitus (10%) and liver diseases (5.8%) were some common physical illnesses found in these patients. Conclusion: Common physical illnesses of psychiatric patients can be detected mostly by a careful history­taking checklist and physical examination. Psychiatrists must inculcate the habit of conducting a general physical examination of their psychiatric patients.



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