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MedGenMed. 2003 May 14;5(2):41.

Behavioral health care integration in obstetrics and gynecology.

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  • 1Department of Ob/Gyn and MAHEC Ob/Gyn Residency Program, Behavioral Medicine Clinical Services, Asheville, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

Depression, anxiety, and somatoform disorders are 2 to 3 times more prevalent in women than in men. Since the advent of managed care and other pressures on the healthcare delivery system in the United States, there has been a notable diminishment of services and service funding for treatment of mental health conditions, whether they are temporary, transitional, or chronic. As a result of this trend, we have seen an increase in the number of patients seeking help for emotional and mental health concerns from their family doctors or, in the case of women, from their obstetrician-gynecologists. We have also found that emotional and mental health problems are often converted into physical symptomatology that carries fewer stigmas and is often viewed as easier to treat. Many women use their obstetrician-gynecologists for primary care, particularly during their reproductive years. Provision of behavioral healthcare is critical to health maintenance for many of these women. Barriers to the integration of behavioral healthcare into obstetrics and gynecology practice need to be understood and systemically addressed.

PMID:
14603140
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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