Dual diagnosis in inpatient physicians: Prevalence and clinical characteristics

Pilar Lusilla, Antoni Gual, Carlos Roncero, Eugeni Bruguera, Victoria Marcos, Sergi Valero, Miquel Casas

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Background: Despite evidence of dual diagnosis (DD) in impaired physicians, few studies have investigated its prevalence and clinical characteristics. Aims: To assess the prevalence and clinical characteristics of DD in a sample of inpatient physicians and to compare physician patients with DD to other inpatient physicians. Methods: A chart review of clinical and demographic data was conducted on 290 consecutive admissions to the inpatient unit of the Integrated Care Programme for Physicians in Barcelona from January 1999 to August 2005. Results: 60 (20.6%) patients had DD, with the most common form of co-occurring disorders being alcohol dependence with mood disorder (46.4%). DD patients were more likely to be male. DD patients were more similar to patients with substance use disorders with regards to demographic variables and antisocial personality traits, but were more similar to patients with only a psychiatric disorder concerning severity and avoidant traits. Conclusions: DD is a major cause of impairment in physicians and is associated with particular clinical and demographic characteristics. DD in physicians deserves attention to improve early detection, prevention and treatment strategies. © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
JournalMental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Impaired physician
  • Psychiatric comorbidity

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