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.