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Self-poisoning patients admitted to hospital were studied for persistence of psychiatric symptoms over a 3-month period and evaluated at 3 points in time with the General Health Questionnaire and the Present State Examination. Symptoms were identified which had a high or low prevalence at 3-month follow-up. GHQ and PSE scores correlated at 0·8. The implications of the study are discussed, particularly the earlier need for out-patient help in those who had a moderate or high number of symptoms at initial interview.
Sixty parasuicide patients admitted to medical wards were assessed by social workers prior to routine psychiatric assessment. Both disciplines completed a rating schedule. The social workers' and psychiatrists' rating schedule responses were compared, and their decisions were examined against further information obtained by a research psychiatrist, which included standardized mental state assessment. Overall the results show that social workers can safely and reliably assess these patients, but they are more cautious. A management approach involving social workers as assessors of parasuicide patients is discussed.
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