Circumstances of referral

If the referral is from a GP, it can be very helpful to speak to the GP by telephone before the interview; similarly, in an emergency situation, much useful information can be obtained from police officers, ambulance personnel, and other informants.

It is also useful to ask oneself not only why the patient has been referred, but why now? For example, a patient may be seen with a long-standing condition, and there may appear to have been little change from an objectively medical point of view. Non-medical factors such as disruption of networks of informal care, accommodation problems, financial crisis, or arrest, are commonly the precipitating factors for referral.

Hughes' Outline of Modern Psychiatry, Fifth Edition. David Gill. © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ISBN 9780470033920

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