This study aimed to investigate the relationship between age at onset and time to first pharmacological treatment in patients with either bipolar I or II disorder. A total of 146 consecutive in-patients acutely admitted from the same catchment area were included. Patients were divided into four age groups: 0-12 years (23%); 13-18 years (32%); 19-29 years (26%); and > or =30 years (18%). Mean age at first affective episode was 20.2 years (s.d.=11.8). This represents a similar pattern to the age at onset seen in out-patients in the USA. Early age at onset predicted a longer time to first pharmacological treatment (rho =-0.695, P
BACKGROUND: Patients with brief depressive episodes and concurrent rapidly fluctuating psychiatric symptoms do not fit current diagnostic criteria and they can be difficult to diagnose and treat in an acute psychiatric setting. We wanted to study whether these patients had signs of more epileptic or organic brain dysfunction than patients with depression without additional symptomatology. METHODS: Sixteen acutely admitted patients diagnosed with a brief depressive episode as well as another concurrent psychiatric diagnosis were included. Sixteen patients with major depression served as controls. Three electroencephalographic studies (EEG) were visually interpreted and the background activity was also analysed with quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG). RESULTS: The group with brief depression and concurrent symptoms had multiple abnormal features in their standard EEG compared to patients with major depression, but they did not show significantly more epileptiform activity. They also had significantly higher temporal QEEG delta amplitude and interhemispheric temporal delta asymmetry. CONCLUSION: Organic brain dysfunction may be involved in the pathogenesis of patients with brief depressive episodes mixed with rapidly fluctuating psychiatric symptoms. This subgroup of depressed patients should be investigated further in order to clarify the pathophysiology and to establish the optimal evaluation scheme and treatment in an acute psychiatric setting.
The aim of the study was to describe the pattern of injuries to various body parts in patient-staff incidents; 507 patient-staff incidents in a psychiatric acute ward during the period 1990-1997 were included. Staff members registered 193 injuries in the head, 112 in the trunk, 265 in the upper extremities and 69 in the lower extremities. No differences between the two sexes or between different levels of education among the nurses were found in the pattern of injuries. Doctors were more often injured in the head and less often injured in the upper extremity than the nurses. The head was more often injured when there was no understandable provocation before the incident and seldom injured when the patients were denied something. Injuries to the trunk were more frequently followed by use of parenteral medication. Parenteral medication and holding the patient with force were more frequently used in incidents where more than one body part was injured. The knowledge of injures after patient-staff incidences may contribute to the education and protective training of the staff of psychiatric acute wards.
Substance use is prevalent in patients with psychiatric disorders and may cause severe symptoms in addition to complicating the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders. The aims of the study were to find the prevalence in use of alcohol, drugs, benzodiazepines, hypnotics, opiates and stimulants, and to find the prevalence of substance use disorders at admission to an acute psychiatric department receiving all admissions from a catchment area. Patients were interviewed about use of medications and intoxicating substances during the last week before admission in 227 consecutive admissions. Urine samples were analysed with the liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method. Use of substances was determined from reported use and findings in urine samples. Diagnoses were set at discharge according to ICD-10 research criteria. In 81.9% of the admissions, the patient had used alcohol, drugs, benzodiazepines, hypnotics, opiates or stimulants prior to admission. More men used alcohol, cannabis and stimulants, whereas more women used benzodiazepines. In 31.7% of the admissions, 49.5% of men and 16.4% of women, the patients had a substance use disorder (ICD-10, F10-19). Patients with substance use disorders had a shorter stay in hospital than other patients, and patients with no psychiatric disorder other than substance use disorders had a median length of stay of 2 days. Most patients had used psychoactive substances before admission to the acute psychiatric department, and half of the men had a substance use disorder.