In this study, psychotropic drugs refer to the antipsychotics, antimanics (including antiepileptics used in mood ), antidepressants, anti-Parkinsonians, psychostimulants, and benzodiazepines and hypnosedatives (BZD Plus) that are mostly used in clinical psychiatry and that have been the focus of several other epidemiological studies. Hospital structure refers to whether a department of psychiatry was present in the hospital. Length of hospital stay is the period between the date of admission and the date of census.
A point prevatence survey was conducted between June 9, 1987 and July 28, 1987. The wards of each discipline were surveyed on one day. Ward staffwere not forewarned ofthe census day but were aware of the study. After ethics approval and administration permission from each ofthe three hospitals, details of all medications prescribed to in-patients on the psychiatry (PSYCH), internal medicine (MED), obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), general surgery (SURG) and pediatrics (PED) wards on the day of census were collected.
Under the supervision of one of the authors, a research assistant (who was familiar with clinical pharmacology and was trained in the recognition of the psychotropic drugs) perused the charts of each patient carefully and recorded demographic data, diagnoses and the length of stay in hospital. All medications prescribed and in use on the day of the census were identified. Drug name, dosage, frequency and route of administration, and reason(s) for prescription were recorded. Data collection was systematic using a standardized form.
In the analy sis, drugs des ig nated ‘ps ych otropic’ but used for their nonpsychotropic effect were excluded. For example, carbamazepine used for seizure disorder was excluded. Data were analyzed using Yates corrected %2 test for discrete variables and the Student’s t test for interval variables.