The British Journal of Psychiatry
The psychiatric symptoms, diagnoses and care needs of 100 mentally handicapped patients.
B R Ballinger, C B Ballinger, A H Reid, E McQueen


One hundred randomly selected residents of a mental handicap hospital originating from Dundee were interviewed using a standardised assessment based on the modified Standardised Clinical Interview Schedule. Information on certain behavioural items and self-care skills was obtained from nursing staff and case records. An ICD-9 diagnosis could be made for 80 individuals, including diagnoses usually reserved for children. Thirty subjects were regarded as needing long-term psychiatric mental handicap hospital care. All but one of the remaining 70 subjects required a staffed residential placement and all but 15 some form of out-patient or short-term in-patient provision from specialist health services. The findings indicate a need for approximately 30 psychiatric mental handicap beds per 100,000 population.