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To develop and pilot a clinician-rated outcome scale to evaluate symptomatic outcomes in liaison psychiatry services. Three hundred and sixty patient contacts with 207 separate individuals were rated using six subscales (mood, psychosis, cognition, substance misuse, mind–body problems and behavioural disturbance) plus two additional items (side-effects of medication and capacity to consent for medical treatment). Each item was rated on a five-point scale from 0 to 5 (nil, mild, moderate, severe and very severe).
The liaison outcome measure was acceptable and easy to use. All subscales showed acceptable interrater reliability, with the exception of the mind–body subscale. Overall, the measure appears to show stability and sensitivity to change.
The measure provides a useful and robust way to determine symptomatic change in a liaison mental health setting, although the mind–body subscale requires modification.
To develop a simple, pragmatic typology to characterise the nature of liaison interventions delivered by a liaison service in a National Health Service setting. We carried out a retrospective electronic case-note review of referrals to a ward-based liaison psychiatry service.
Three hundred and forty-four patients were referred to the service over a 12-month period. Ten different types of liaison interventions were identified, with the most common interventions being diagnosis (112 patients, 32.6%), medication management (57 patients, 16.6%), risk assessment and treatment (56 patients, 16.3% each). Mental Health Act work accounted for the greatest number of contacts per patient (median 7).
There are inherent limitations in any single-site observational study, as site-specific results cannot be generalised to other liaison services. The intervention categories we developed, however, are easy to use and will provide a way of comparing and benchmarking the range of interventions delivered by different liaison psychiatry services.
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