Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 183-189

Frequency and pattern of radiological and laboratory investigations in patients with mental illnesses: A study from North Rajasthan

1 Department of General Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore; Nishkam Foundation, Gurgaon, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, SP Medical College, Bikaner, India
3 District Hospital Sikar, Port Blair, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, ANIIMS, Port Blair, India
5 Tek Chand Sidana Memorial Psychiatric Hospital and Deaddiction Centre, Sri Ganganagar, India
6 Department of General Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
7 Department of Psychiatry, Index Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dhanesh K Gupta
Institute of Mental Health, 10 Buangkok View, Singapore - 539747

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.183781

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Background: There are widespread perceptions that excessive and unnecessary investigations are done in many patients with mental illnesses. There are no studies from India looking into this issue. Aims: (i) To study the frequency and pattern of various investigations such as electroencephalography (EEG), computerized tomography (CT) scan of head, magnetic resolution imaging (MRI) scan of brain, and blood investigations carried out by the previous doctors on patients seeking treatment in three different settings. (ii) To study the socio-demographic and clinical correlates of investigations carried out on these patients. Study Design and Settings: A cross-sectional study in a community outreach clinic, a district level psychiatric hospital, and psychiatry outpatient clinic of a medical college. Materials and Methods: 160 newly registered patients seeking treatment at these settings were assessed using a semi-structured pro forma regarding various investigations that they had undergone before seeking the current consultation. Frequency of investigations was analyzed. Results: About 47.5% of patients had at least one of the three brain investigations done. EEG, CT head, and MRI brain had been done in 37.5%, 20.0%, and 8.8% of the patients, respectively. Only 1.8% of the patients had blood tests done before current consultation. Conclusion: This study results raise question whether certain investigations such as EEG and CT head were carried out excessively and blood investigations were done infrequently. Further studies on larger samples with prospective study design to evaluate the appropriateness of current practices of carrying out investigations in patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms are required.



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