REFERRAL OF PATIENTS FROM PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS TO A COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER


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Abstract

The referral process between primary care physicians and a community mental health center was examined in a community which lacks a geographically based psychiatrist. The method included inspection of referral completion rate and evaluation of patients' characteristics and attitudes concerning mental health care. The findings indicated that only 10 per cent of referred patients who have had no prior contact with the community mental health center completed the referral. Reasons for this low referral completion rate are discussed.

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