Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 128–135

Mental disorders and referrals to mental health specialists by general practitioners

  • K. W. Sørgaard
  • I. Sandanger
  • T. Sørensen
  • G. Ingebrigtsen
  • O. S. Dalgard

DOI: 10.1007/s001270050123

Cite this article as:
Sørgaard, K., Sandanger, I., Sørensen, T. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (1999) 34: 128. doi:10.1007/s001270050123


In a population study we analysed psychiatric help-seeking directed to general practitioners (GPs) and looked at who was referred to and received treatment from psychiatrists or psychologists. A random sample of 2015 persons were interviewed on a large number of variables, of which five groups were used in logistic regression analysis to find what accounted for (1) help-seeking addressed to GPs, (2) prior (not during the last 12 months) referral from GPs to, and treatment from, a psychiatrist or psychologist, and (3) current specialist referral/treatment (referral to/treatment from a psychiatrist/psychologist in the last 12 months). A total of 38 variables were covered in the areas of demographics, social support, life events and general well-being, and mental health (HSCL-25), with six personality-related variables. The conclusions are: (1) The strongest predictor of former and current help-seeking was high current symptom rating (HSCL-25). (2) Demographic variables played a limited role in explaining help-seeking. (3) Personality-related variables played a more important role in the referral/treatment groups than most demographic variables. Compared with those not being referred, people currently seeing or having seen a psychiatrist/psychologist described themselves as easily worried, but at the same time having an attitude of speaking out and of not accepting a below-par life situation.

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. W. Sørgaard
    • 1
  • I. Sandanger
    • 2
  • T. Sørensen
    • 3
  • G. Ingebrigtsen
    • 5
  • O. S. Dalgard
    • 4
  1. 1.Nordland Psychiatric Hospital, Kløveråsveien 1, N-8001 Bodø, NorwayNO
  2. 2.Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, Department of Social Insurance Medicine, University of Oslo, NorwayNO
  3. 3.Psychiatric Institute, University of Oslo, NorwayNO
  4. 4.National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, NorwayNO
  5. 5.Psychiatric Centre, Lofoten Hospital, Stamsund, NorwayNO

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