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Yield of Psychiatric Consultants' Recommendations for Diagnostic Action

Michael K. Popkin, MD; Thomas B. Mackenzie, MD; Allan L. Callies; Richard C. W. Hall, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(7):843-845. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290070069013.
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• The results of diagnostic measures proposed by psychiatric consultants were examined in a retrospective study of 793 medical records. Of 302 recommendations implemented by consultees, 137 yielded abnormal findings. Abnormalities were widely distributed among laboratory determinations, diagnostic procedures, and psychological tests. Highest yields were associated with EEGs, thyroid function studies, vitamin B12 and folate levels, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Two thirds of cases with one or more implemented recommendation were found to have an abnormal result. These findings suggest that consultees may curtail medical examinations of patients with psychiatric symptomatology. The outcomes demonstrate the merits of the diagnostic recommendations offered by psychiatric consultants and underscore the advantages conferred on patient and consultee by a consultant with a firm base on medical knowledge.

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