Gastrointestinal symptoms in psychiatry: comparison of direct applications and referrals
Sedat Batmaz, Mesut Yildiz, Emrah Songur
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Article No: 1   Article Type :  Research
Objective: Clinical experience and observations suggest that there are some discrepancies between patients who directly apply to psychiatry clinic, and who are referred from gastroenterology clinic to psychiatry clinic. Thus, we aimed to investigate differences related to the demographic and clinical characteristics of these patients.

Method: The study included 115 consecutive patients aged between 18-65 years. Sixty-one of the patients applied directly to the psychiatry clinic, and 54 patients were referred for consultation to the psychiatry clinic. Primary gastrointestinal complaints, psychiatric diagnoses and personality features were recorded on the scoiodemographic data form, and the severity of psychiatric disorders were assessed by the Clinical Global Impression Scale - Severity Subscale.

Results: Patients who directly applied to psychiatry clinic were more likely to be female, older, and married. They attributed their gastrointestinal symptoms also more likely to be of psychogenic origin. Patients who directly applied to psychiatry clinic suffered more likely from a sense of fullness/abdominal tension, while patients who were referred to psychiatry clinic more frequently complained of bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. Patients who directly applied to psychiatry clinic were more frequently diagnosed with depressive disorders, trauma related disorders, and personality disorders, whereas referrals were more frequently diagnosed with psychotic disorders. Directly admitted patients were also more likely to exhibit impulsivity as a personality feature.

Conclusion: Patients with gastrointestinal symptoms who directly presented to psychiatry differed from those who were referred from gastroenterology clinics on some of their demographic aspects, primary psychiatric diagnoses and personality traits.
Keywords : Consultation liaison psychiatry, gastrointestinal symptoms, psychiatric diagnosis
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2016;29:202-209
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