Mental disorders among internal medical inpatients: prevalence, detection, and treatment status

J Psychosom Res. 2001 Apr;50(4):199-204. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(00)00230-0.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of ICD-10 mental disorders among internal medical inpatients, the relation between mental disorder, age, and gender, and the recognition and referral of the disordered patients.

Method: 294 consecutive medical inpatients were examined with a two-phase design using the SCAN (Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry) for ICD-10 psychiatric diagnoses. Information from questionnaires and interviews with patients, doctors, nurses, and from medical records.

Results: The prevalence of current mental disorders was 38.7%, being heavily increased in young patients. Main diagnoses were somatoform disorders (17.6%), phobias (12.9%), substance use disorders (10.9%), and depression (8.3%). Psychiatric consultations were very few. About 38-56% of the cases were recognized by medical doctors and nurses, and only about 20% were in mental health treatment.

Conclusion: The prevalence of mental disorders among internal medical inpatients is high and increased in young patients and women. Detection and referral are low, and few are treated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Sex Factors