The prevalence of personality disorders, psychotic disorders and affective disorders amongst the patients seen by a community mental health team in London
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Background There is a lack of information regarding the prevalence and co-occurrence of personality disorders, psychotic disorders and affective disorders amongst patients seen by community mental health teams. This study aims to describe the population of patients served by a community mental health team in South London in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics. Method Computerised hospital records and keyworkers' caseloads were used to identify 193 patients. The Standardised Assessment of Personality was used to assess personality disorders and the Operationalised Criteria Checklist was used to assess psychotic and affective disorders. Results Fifty-two per cent of patients met the criteria for one or more personality disorders, 67 % of patients had a psychotic illness and 23 % had a diagnosis of a depressive disorder. Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) mainly saw patients with psychotic illnesses. The non-psychotic patients seen by CPNs had extremely high rates of personality disorder. Patients seen by psychiatrists and psychologists had significantly lower rates of personality disorder. Conclusions The prevalence of personality disorder is high amongst patients seen by community mental health teams. Possible explanations for this are presented and implications for community care are discussed.
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