Psychiatr Prax 2002 Sep;29(6):311-4
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Lübeck, Germany.
In the discussion of the increasing costs of health care in Germany the frequent and often times long inpatient treatments of elderly patients are pointed out. Since these patients also suffer from psychiatric disorders very frequently, a psychiatric consultation is required rather often. This study was aimed to evaluate the requirements of a consultation service for elder inpatients. For this purpose all 9363 consultation reports from 1994 to 1998 were evaluated retrospectively. 2152 (31.4 %) of the patients visited by the psychiatric consultation service were over 64 years old. The most frequent diagnoses were organic brain syndrome (ICD-10: F0), particularly senile dementia (ICD-10: F00 - 03), adjustment disorder (ICD-10: F43) and affective disorders, particularly depressive disorders (ICD-10: F3). In 139 patients (6,5 %) a consultation was requested because of a suicidal attempt prior to admission. Our results suggest that in a gerontopsychiatric consultation service predominantly old patients with internal diseases and with the need of psychosocial help are visited and that the specific knowledge of psychopharmacological treatment in multimorbid patients as well as the psychosocial help and legal advice is requested. These aspects should therefore be a special focus in educational programs for a gerontopsychiatric consultation service.