Previous epidemiological studies of bulimia nervosa have generated differing estimates of the incidence and prevalence of the disorder. These differences are attributable, in part, to varying definitions of the illness and a range of methodologies. The authors sought to define the prevalence of bulimia nervosa in a nonclinical community sample, examine the clinical significance of DSM-III-R threshold criteria, and examine comorbidity.
Subjects across Ontario (N = 8,116) were assessed with a structured interview, the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview, with specific questions added for bulimia nervosa. Subjects who met DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia nervosa were compared with those who were missing only the frequency criterion (two or more binge-eating episodes per week for 3 months).
In this sample, the lifetime prevalence of bulimia nervosa was 1.1% for female subjects and 0.1% for male subjects. The subjects with full- and partial-syndrome bulimia nervosa showed significant vulnerability for mood and anxiety disorders. Lifetime rates of alcohol dependence were high in the full-syndrome group. Rates of parental psychopathologies were high in both bulimic groups but tended to be higher in the subjects with full-syndrome bulimia nervosa. Both bulimic groups were significantly more likely to experience childhood sexual abuse than a normal female comparison group.
This study confirms other prevalence estimates of bulimia nervosa and its comorbid diagnoses from studies that were based on sound methodologies. It also points to the arbitrary aspects of the frequency of binge eating as a diagnostic threshold criterion for the disorder.
Use of case-mix reimbursement in psychiatric inpatients has been limited as a result of a lack of systems which effectively group patients according to required resource needs. In recognition of the fact that many patient factors, in addition to diagnosis influence delivery of care in psychiatry, new measures of patient need are emerging.
This study compared improvement realized by using a multidimensional measure of patient severity, the Computerized Severity Index (CSI), to predict length of stay (LOS) in psychiatric inpatients over that achieved by using patient variables routinely collected in the discharge abstract.
Through retrospective chart review, severity ratings were made on 355 psychiatric discharges with primary diagnoses of psychotic or major depressive disorders. Those ratings were combined with demographic and diagnostic data available in discharge abstracts and were then entered into multivariate regression analyses to model LOS.
CSI ratings significantly contributed to prediction models, which accounted for an additional 9% to 11% of variation in LOS over discharge abstract data. Among patients with psychotic disorders, maximum severity during hospitalization was the best predictor of LOS, whereas among patients with depressive disorders, it was an increase in severity following admission.
Severity ratings, based on chart review, improved prediction of LOS over discharge abstract variables for psychiatric inpatients in two diagnostic groups. Further research is needed to estimate the impact of incorporating severity ratings into a grouping system for all psychiatric inpatients. Estimation of predictive accuracy is important to determine the amount of risk passed on to providers in a payment system based on psychiatric case mix.
The authors compared 62 men who met all or most of the DSM-III-R criteria for eating disorders with 212 women who had similar eating disorders and 3,769 men who had no eating disorders on a wide variety of clinical and historical variables.
The groups of subjects were derived from a community epidemiologic survey performed in the province of Ontario that used the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Men with eating disorders were very similar to women with eating disorders on most variables. Men with eating disorders showed higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity and more psychosocial morbidity than men without eating disorders.
These results confirm the clinical similarities between men with eating disorders and women with eating disorders. They also reveal that both groups suffer similar psychosocial morbidity. Men with eating disorders show a wide range of differences from men without eating disorders; the extent to which these differences are effects of the illness or possible risk factors for the occurrence of these illnesses in men is not clear.
To estimate the financial burden of schizophrenia in Canada in 1996.
Using a prevalence-based approach, all direct health care costs, administrative costs of income assistance plans, and costs of incarceration attributable to schizophrenia were determined. Also included was the value of lost productivity associated with premature mortality and morbidity. In addition to using published papers and documents, direct contact was made with representatives from various provincial and federal programs for estimates of the direct health care and non-health care costs.
The estimated number of persons with schizophrenia in Canada in 1996 was 221,000, with equal distribution between males and females. The direct health care and non-health care cost was estimated to be $1.12 billion in 1996. In addition, another $1.23 billion in lost productivity associated with morbidity and premature mortality was attributable to schizophrenia.
The total financial burden of schizophrenia in Canada was estimated to be $2.35 billion in 1996. The largest category of cost was morbidity (52%), followed by acute care and psychiatric hospital admissions (14% and 10% respectively). Given the magnitude of these cost estimates, there are large potential cost savings with more effective management and control of this debilitating disease.
A study at two outpatient facilities compared two methods of collecting data on client satisfaction with mental health services provided by case managers and by physicians. A satisfaction survey instrument was developed with input from clients. A total of 120 clients were randomly assigned to be interviewed by either a staff member or a client. Clients from both facilities reported high levels of satisfaction regardless of the type of interviewer. Clients gave a significantly greater number of extremely negative responses when they were interviewed by client interviewers. No difference between the two groups was found in overall satisfaction with services received from case managers or physicians.
To determine family physicians' role in the mental health care system.
The Mental Health Supplement to the Ontario Health Survey is an epidemiologic, retrospective, home-interview survey. Results reported here are based on responses of a weighted sample of patients aged 15 to 64.
Ontario, 1990 to 1991.
Random sample of 9953 household residents.
Standardized assessment of mental disorders, associated risk factors and disability, and patterns of use of mental health services.
More people seek mental health services from their family physicians (FPs) than from psychiatrists, social workers, or psychologists. Among patients who consulted for mental health purposes, more than 35.4% saw FPs only, 24.7% saw FPs and other mental health care providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, others), and 40% saw other mental health care providers only. There were few sociodemographic, diagnostic, or clinical severity differences between the FP-only group and the other two groups. Some evidence suggested FPs saw more recent onset cases, but they were also involved in joint care for more complex or disabled cases. More than 57% of those seeing FPs received medication; 43% received other forms of care. Those seeing FPs only made four visits per year; those who consulted other mental health professionals made 14 to 20.
Our study confirms FPs' important role in the current mental health care system.
Cites: Med Care. 1988 Jan;26(1):9-263336249
Cites: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985 Jan;42(1):89-943966857
Cites: Can J Psychiatry. 1990 Jun;35(5):397-4002372749
Cites: Can J Psychiatry. 1996 Nov;41(9):572-78946080
Cites: Can J Psychiatry. 1996 Nov;41(9):549-588946077
Cites: New Dir Ment Health Serv. 1994 Spring;(61):11-208208225
Cites: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993 Feb;50(2):95-1078381266
Cites: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993 Feb;50(2):85-948427558
The authors have completed a large descriptive study of the system of psychiatric aftercare in Metropolitan Toronto. This article describes the relevant 6-month and 2-year postdischarge outcome in each of five aftercare components for 505 subjects in a traditional system of service delivery. Provincial hospital, research institute, and general hospital subgroups are compared. For the total group, recidivism and employment rates are similar to those found in previous studies. Symptoms and distress levels are high. Considerable numbers of subjects live in inadequate and unsatisfactory housing. Social isolation, inadequate income, and difficulties with instrumental role functioning are persistent problems with little improvement between 6 months and 2 years postdischarge. Differences among the subgroups vary according to type of outcome and, for the most part, can be explained by differences in the characteristics of the patients served by the three types of inpatient treatment settings. These findings provide additional information about serious deficiencies in discharge planning and aftercare service delivery that is focused primarily upon the treatment of illness. The authors conclude that a more balanced system of aftercare requires a shift in resources to rehabilitation programs in the community.
Differences between 24 female and 35 male clients were assessed at entry into an intensive case management program serving homeless shelter residents and again nine months later. Both men and women were socially isolated, with small social networks and severe deficits in social functioning. Histories of homelessness were similar for both genders, and there were no gender differences in psychopathology at baseline or follow-up. At entry into the program women had higher levels of social skills, larger and more supportive networks, and better housing conditions than men, but these differences disappeared after the subjects spent nine months in the program. Inadequate living conditions may have contributed to the more negative initial picture for men. Although there were more similarities than differences between the men and women in this sample, more research on gender differences is needed to design and evaluate programs for homeless mentally ill persons.