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Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Sep;41(9):676-9.

Problem solving therapy - use and effectiveness in general practice.

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Department of Rural Health, Rural Health Academic Centre, the University of Melbourne, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.



Problem solving therapy (PST) is one of the focused psychological strategies supported by Medicare for use by appropriately trained general practitioners.


This article reviews the evidence base for PST and its use in the general practice setting.


Problem solving therapy involves patients learning or reactivating problem solving skills. These skills can then be applied to specific life problems associated with psychological and somatic symptoms. Problem solving therapy is suitable for use in general practice for patients experiencing common mental health conditions and has been shown to be as effective in the treatment of depression as antidepressants. Problem solving therapy involves a series of sequential stages. The clinician assists the patient to develop new empowering skills, and then supports them to work through the stages of therapy to determine and implement the solution selected by the patient. Many experienced GPs will identify their own existing problem solving skills. Learning about PST may involve refining and focusing these skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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