Little is known about those patients who bypass their GP and self-refer directly to hospital. There have been studies of referrals to emergency clinics (Lim, 1983; Haw et al, 1987; Kehoe & Newton, 1990) and to community centres (Hutton, 1983; Boardman & Bouras, 1989). All these studies found that more men self-referred than women. Hutton (1985), Boardman & Bouras (1989) and Kehoe & Newton (1990) found that self-referrals often had a non-psychiatric precipitant and rarely required acute psychiatric intervention.
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