The identification of psychiatric illness by primary care physicians: the effect of patient gender.
OBJECTIVE: This study tested several hypotheses about why women are more likely than men to have psychiatric disorders noted by their primary care physicians. DESIGN: Patients were screened for mental disorders using the General Health Questionnaire. A stratified sample was assessed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Information on utilization and identification of mental health problems was abstracted from the medical records. SETTING: The study was conducted at a multispecialty group practice in a semirural area of Wisconsin. PATIENTS: Study participants consisted of a stratified probability sample of 247 patients seeking primary care. RESULTS: Patients with a psychiatric illness who were relatively frequent users of the clinic were most likely to be identified by a physician as having a mental health problem. When psychiatric illness and utilization rates were statistically controlled, men and women had comparable identification rates.
Cleary, PD; Burns, BJ; Nycz, GR
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