Patterns of care of a cohort of patients with a neurotic depression
A cohort of patients with a neurotic depression who where entered into the Groningen register in 1975 was followed for a period of six years to study the pattern of care. Diagnostic changes could occur and actually happened. To study the prognostic validity of the diagnostic categories they were hierarchically ordered according to their assumed need for services. This scale of hierarchical ordered ICD-9 categories did indeed correlate with some of the care characteristics (duration, inpatient and multiple service use). Although most patients were not anymore in care 13 months after they had been entered into the register, a considerable number (about 30%) became chronic, i.e. using the services more than three years. Mental health care was also analyzed at the institutional level. Most patients contacted the out patient department of a psychiatric hospital. Psychiatrists play a dominant role in the treatment of neurotic patients.