The authors analyzed referral patterns for psychiatric consultation from
medical and surgical wards on the basis of 2,000 referrals. They found that
patients' demographic characteristics were stable over time. The diagnoses
of depressive disorders and organic brain syndromes consistently
predominated. Other studies have shown similar findings. The authors stress
the importance of research on depressive disorders in the physically ill
and of teaching the diagnosis of organic brain syndromes. They also
underscore the value of the liaison nurse.