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Logo of agpsychBioMed Centralbiomed central web sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleAnnals of General Psychiatry
Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010; 9(Suppl 1): S130.
Published online 2010 April 22. doi:  10.1186/1744-859X-9-S1-S130
PMCID: PMC2991815

Medical consultations in psychiatric inpatients: a descriptive study


According to previous studies, medical illness is common in psychiatric patients but they are frequently treated without careful attention to medical problems [1]. Psychiatric symptoms can be manifestations of medical illness. Medical illness and psychiatric disorder can coexist and can affect severity, course and prognosis of each other [2].

Materials and methods

This is a descriptive study (existing data). We studied the documentations of 2500 admitted patients in Imam hossein hospital and those with medical consultations included in this study.


Total of consultations was 706 that for 490 patients. 61% of consultations were for women and 39% for men. 54% had diagnosis of bipolar disorder 14% depression, 7% schizophrenia, 8% schizoaffective and 17% other diagnosis. Emergent consultations were 29% and non emergent 71%. The most consultations were related to internal, neurology cardiologic wards (emergent and non emergent). In subspecialty services endocrinology consultations were the most common. The most common medical comorbidities were diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. CNS problems was the most frequent cause of psychiatric disorder due to general medical condition (in 4%) and the most psychiatric manifestation of them was mood disturbances (depression and bipolar). 28% of consultations were related to previously recognized medical disease (diabetes, thyroid disease and epilepsy).


According to findings of this study medical problems among psychiatric inpatients are common. So psychiatrists should not ignore this probability to avoid the potential harm of these problems in any psychiatric settings. Availability of medical services for psychiatric inpatients (such as medical consultants or beings in a general hospital) seems to be considered as one of essentials in this line [3].


  • Hall RC, Gardner ER, Popkin MK, Lecann AF, Stickney SK. Unrecognized physical illness prompting psychiatric admission: a prospective study. Am J Psychiatry. 1981;138(5):629–35. [PubMed]
  • Koranyi EK. Morbidity and rate of undiagnosed physical illnesses in a psychiatric clinic population. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(4):414–9. [PubMed]
  • Bunce DF, Jones LR, Badger LW, Jones SE. Medical illness in psychiatric patients: barriers to diagnosis and treatment. South Med J. 1982;75(8):941–4. [PubMed]

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