Nordic journal of psychiatry 2017 01 23() 1-10 doi 10.1080/08039488.2017.1279212
Despite concerns about rising treatment of psychiatric patients with psychotropic medications and declining treatment with psychotherapy, actual treatment profiles of psychiatric patients are largely unknown.
To describe patterns in the treatment of patients in a large psychiatric university hospital department.
A descriptive mapping of treatment of in- and outpatients in a psychiatric department at Aarhus University Hospital Risskov, Denmark. Information was collected by healthcare staff using a 25-item survey form. The p-value was calculated with a chi-squared test and p < 0.05 was considered significant. The study was preceded by a pilot study on 41 patients. RESULTS
Over a 1 month period, a total of 343 consecutive patients were assessed and hereof 200 were included in the age range 18-90 years (mean 53.76); 86 men and 114 women. One-hundred and eighty-eight patients (94%) used psychotropic medication, 37 (19%) as monotherapy, and 148 (74%) in combination with non-pharmacological therapy. Ninety-seven (49%) had psychotherapy and 104 (52%) social support. Among inpatients, 21 (64%) had physical therapy, and 10 (30%) electroconvulsive therapy. In total, 163 (82%) had non-pharmacological therapy. Fifty-two (26%) patients had monotherapy, and 148 (74%) polytherapy. Mean number of treatment modalities used per patient was 2.07 for all patients and 3.23 for inpatients.
In this department, polytherapy including non-pharmacological modalities is applied widely across all settings and patient categories. However, psychotropic medication clearly dominates as the most frequently applied treatment.