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The Use of Minor Tranquilizers in a Community Mental Health Center
Gregory K. Fritz; Gary Collins; Michael Biernoff
Psychiatric Services 1979; doi:
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Psychiatry Department Children's Hospital at Stanford Palo Alto, California

San Mateo County Health Service Chope Hospital San Mateo, California

Gallup (N.Mex.) Indian Medical Center

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A study of 306 adult psychiatric outpatients visiting a CMHC during one month revealed that 55 per cent of those patients received a psychotropic medication and 45 per cent of the medication recipients used a minor tranquilizer as all or part of their treatment regimen. The most common diagnosis for patients receiving minor tranquilizers was depressive neurosis. The tranquilizers were prescribed in relatively high doses, and 57 of the 77 patients who received them had taken the drugs continuously for at least six months. The study also revealed that polypharmacy was widely practiced. The authors' suggestions for improving the quality of pharmacotherapy in a CMHC include instituting peer review of prescribing and recordkeeping practices and monitoring the effectiveness of medications through the application of quantitative mood scales at regular intervals.

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