Good outcomes for patients with psychologists in GP practices

CO-LOCATING psychologists in general practices to promote collaborative mental healthcare leads to better outcomes for patients, an expert says.

Clinical psychologist Dr Robyn Vines chaired a symposium at the Australian Psychological Society annual meeting in Canberra this week canvassing arguments for referring patients to ‘in-house’ psychologists.

Trial data showed better outcomes from collaborative mental health care for patients with anxiety and depression, compared with GP treatment alone.

“Many of the patients in the trial of this collaborative care model came back within the normal level of functioning on the indices used,” Dr Vines said.

“Co-location of professionals has many advantages, even if it’s only for part of the week. 

“It facilitates easier communication with GPs and enables patients to come for assessment in a setting where there’s no stigma attached.”