PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
 
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 January; 37(294): 15–18.
PMCID: PMC1710604

Screening for psychiatric illness in general practice: the general practitioner versus the screening questionnaire

Abstract

This study compares the characteristics of general practitioners and a pen and paper test in the detection of psychiatric disorder in primary care settings. A psychiatrist interviewed a stratified sample of 283 patients drawn from 590 consecutive new illnesses seen in 15 general practices. Research diagnoses could be made in between one-quarter and one-third of the consecutive new illnesses. Two different research diagnostic systems agreed quite well with one another about who should be regarded as a psychiatric 'case' - although agreement between them for individual diagnoses was less impressive. Research diagnoses of psychiatric illnesses could be made in approximately 30% of new episodes of illnesses seen. If the DSM-3 system was used as a criterion of 'caseness', the specificity of the general health questionnaire was 75.4%, and the sensitivity was 87.1%. The general practitioners had fewer false positives than the questionnaire, but they were much more likely to miss psychiatric cases. Use of the general health questionnaire could increase their sensitivity from about 50% to 95%.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (846K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Skuse D, Williams P. Screening for psychiatric disorder in general practice. Psychol Med. 1984 May;14(2):365–377. [PubMed]
  • Sireling LI, Paykel ES, Freeling P, Rao BM, Patel SP. Depression in general practice: case thresholds and diagnosis. Br J Psychiatry. 1985 Aug;147:113–119. [PubMed]
  • Goldberg DP, Blackwell B. Psychiatric illness in general practice. A detailed study using a new method of case identification. Br Med J. 1970 May 23;1(5707):439–443. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Vickers B Randall. Health Service Bill. Br Med J. 1946 Sep 21;2(4472):c439–439. [PMC free article]
  • Casey PR, Dillon S, Tyrer PJ. The diagnostic status of patients with conspicuous psychiatric morbidity in primary care. Psychol Med. 1984 Aug;14(3):673–681. [PubMed]
  • Endicott J, Spitzer RL. A diagnostic interview: the schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978 Jul;35(7):837–844. [PubMed]
  • Wing JK, Nixon JM, Mann SA, Leff JP. Reliability of the PSE (ninth edition) used in a population study. Psychol Med. 1977 Aug;7(3):505–516. [PubMed]
  • Goldberg DP, Cooper B, Eastwood MR, Kedward HB, Shepherd M. A standardized psychiatric interview for use in community surveys. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1970 Feb;24(1):18–23. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dean C, Surtees PG, Sashidharan SP. Comparison of research diagnostic systems in an Edinburgh community sample. Br J Psychiatry. 1983 Mar;142:247–256. [PubMed]
  • Bridges KW, Goldberg DP. Somatic presentation of DSM III psychiatric disorders in primary care. J Psychosom Res. 1985;29(6):563–569. [PubMed]
  • Johnstone A, Goldberg D. Psychiatric screening in general practice. A controlled trial. Lancet. 1976 Mar 20;1(7960):605–608. [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners