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Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Nov;59(2):205-11. Epub 2005 Jul 18.

Behavioral medicine in Russian family medicine.

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  • 1Veterans Administration Medical Center, Salem, VA, USA.


The Russian Federation's recently adopted family medicine as a specialty, but with little or no training in psychosocial and behavioral issues, unlike many training programs in other countries. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of Russian primary care physicians regarding the practice of behavioral medicine and psychosocial methods. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with ten Russian family physicians. Examination of key words, phrases, and concepts used by the physicians revealed five themes that physicians related to their incorporation of psychosocial/behavioral medicine methods: (1) factors limiting the practice of behavioral medicine (inadequate training; cultural barriers); (2) demand for behavioral medicine services; (3) patient-doctor issues related to behavioral medicine (e.g., communication); (4) physician's role strain; and (5) intuition and experience. These findings suggest that Russia's new family physicians would benefit from residency and post-graduate curricula in behavioral sciences, tailored to their unique needs.

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