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Article   |    
Medical Care of Chronic Psychiatric Outpatients
Robert P. Roca; William R. Breakey; Pamela J. Fischer
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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Marsha Levitt, R.N., assisted in obtaining medical histories and performing physical examinations.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Chronic psychiatric patients often fail to receive adequate general medical care. In a study of 42 outpatients in a psychosocial rehabilitation program, 93 percent were found to have at least one problem warranting assessment, treatment, or follow-up. Minor gynecologic disease was the most common problem among women and gross dental disease among men. Only 11 percent of the men's and 26 percent of the women's problems were receiving appropriate care. Seventy-seven percent of the previously unrecognized problems were found just by routine physical examination and hematocrit determination. Medical care for chronic psychiatric patients would improve if psychiatric clinics provided simple medical screening and if therapists were aware of their patients' general health needs.

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