Characteristics of women using a mental health clinic in a gynecologic out-patient setting

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A special mental health clinic was set up in the gynecologic out-patient setting of a medical center. The present study examined the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients seen at the clinic and evaluated the need for mental health services in a gynecologic setting. Participants were 136 consecutive patients who visited the clinic during a 6 month period. Their ages ranged from 20 to 74 years, with a mean age of 41.5 ± 12.3 years. Twenty-three percent of women were referred by gynecologists. All subjects were interviewed by experienced psychiatrists using the structured Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), supplemented by the DSM-IV criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and other diagnoses. The most common diagnosis was major depressive disorder (36.0%), followed by generalized anxiety disorder (29.4%), PMDD (16.2%), dysthymic disorder (14.7%) and others. Patients were categorized into four major diagnostic categories: depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, PMDD and others. No significant differences were found in years of education, employment status, living situations or referral pattern among the four major diagnostic groups. Most patients with anxiety disorders were married. Our results suggest that the gynecologic department may be a good setting to help women with mental disorders.

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