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Patient Educ Couns. 1994 Aug;24(1):79-89.

Evaluation of the short-term impact of counseling in general practice.


This paper describes the findings of a randomised controlled trial of the short-term impact of counseling in the general practice setting. Compared with patients who received usual advice from their general practitioner for acute problems such as relationship difficulties, anxiety and depression, those who received counseling from qualified counselors working within the primary health care context showed greater improvement in psychological health as measured by the General Health Questionnaire. Significantly fewer of those counselled were prescribed anti-depressant drugs by the general practitioners in the study, or were referred to psychiatrists or clinical psychologists for care. In addition those patients who attended sessions with the practice counselor were more likely to report that they were satisfied with their treatment and more expressed feelings of well-being.

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