Medline ® Abstract for Reference 46
of 'Diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in patients with cancer'
Mental disorders in cancer patients: a study of 100 psychiatric referrals.
Levine PM, Silberfarb PM, Lipowski ZJ
Records of 100 consecutive hospitalized cancer patients referred for psychiatric consultation were reviewed. These patients constituted only 5% of those seen by the Psychiatry Consultation Service during the study period. Fifty-six percent of the referred patients were diagnosed as depressed and 40% as having organic brain disease. Twenty-six of the 100 patients were misdiagnosed by the referring physician as depressed but were classified by the staff psychiatrist as suffering from organic brain syndrome. When referral was studied by primary site of cancer, only patients with breast cancer were referred at a significantly higher than expected rate (p less than .001). The importance of the mental status examination as a routine procedure in all cancer patients is stressed so that an organic brain syndrome will not be missed. Suggestions for patient management are given.