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Opening the ‘black box’: liaison psychiatry services and what they actually do

  • Elspeth Guthrie (a1) (a2), Aaron McMeekin (a2), Rachel Thomasson (a2), Sylvia Khan (a3), Sally Makin (a4), Ben Shaw (a5) and Damien Longson (a2)...
Abstract
Aims and method

To develop a simple, pragmatic typology to characterise the nature of liaison interventions delivered by a liaison service in a National Health Service setting. We carried out a retrospective electronic case-note review of referrals to a ward-based liaison psychiatry service.

Results

Three hundred and forty-four patients were referred to the service over a 12-month period. Ten different types of liaison interventions were identified, with the most common interventions being diagnosis (112 patients, 32.6%), medication management (57 patients, 16.6%), risk assessment and treatment (56 patients, 16.3% each). Mental Health Act work accounted for the greatest number of contacts per patient (median 7).

Clinical implications

There are inherent limitations in any single-site observational study, as site-specific results cannot be generalised to other liaison services. The intervention categories we developed, however, are easy to use and will provide a way of comparing and benchmarking the range of interventions delivered by different liaison psychiatry services.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Elspeth Guthrie (elspeth.a.guthrie@manchester.ac.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Opening the ‘black box’: liaison psychiatry services and what they actually do

  • Elspeth Guthrie (a1) (a2), Aaron McMeekin (a2), Rachel Thomasson (a2), Sylvia Khan (a3), Sally Makin (a4), Ben Shaw (a5) and Damien Longson (a2)...
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