Patients in the care of private psychiatric practitioners - Comparison with public hospital patients and the background districts' population

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelfagfællebedømt

In Western societies, the number of psychiatric hospital beds has decreased markedly in the past decades. The reduction in hospital beds has resulted in a relatively large number of mentally ill individuals residing in the community. They experience varying degrees of success. One form of treatment available to such patients is private psychiatric consultation. In Denmark and England (two countries with public supported health care systems) the number of psychiatrists in private practice (PPPs) has increased in recent years. These private practioners may offer a mode of treatment which may meet the needs of a subgroup of the psychiatric patients in the community. The fees of the PPPs are paid by the National Health Service. In this study we report on the characteristics of the patients attending the consultation of private psychiatrists and the treatment which they are offered. We compare the patients of the PPPs with 1. psychiatric patients residing in the same disricts who are cared for by the public hospital system and 2. the background populations of these same districts. The results suggest that the patients in private psychiatric practice are distinct in a number of ways. Neurosis is the dominant diagnosis. Of the patients, 71% are women; the patients tend to be younger than the background districts population; after controlling for age, the marital status of the patients in PPPs' care does not differ significantly from that of the background population, and they are comparable to the background population in level of employment. These patients are more able to care for themselves than the psychiatric patients treated in the public hospital system. The results suggest that PPP is a means of caring for a subgroup of the psychiatric patients in urban settings.

TidsskriftSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)156-160
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 1 maj 1992

ID: 202292516