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N Z Med J. 2014 Mar 28;127(1391):62-73.

A clinical psychologist in GP-Land: an evaluation of brief psychological interventions in primary care.

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  • 1Te Rawhiti Community Mental Health Centre, 15 Aberfeldy Avenue, Highland Park, Auckland 2110, New Zealand.



To evaluate the clinical outcomes and other impacts of brief therapy provided in a primary care setting by a clinical psychologist who was mainly employed in secondary mental health.


The outcomes of 23 primary care patients referred to a clinical psychologist were evaluated using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQoL) scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). A mixture of quantitative and qualitative data from patients and staff were analysed to identify other impacts of the intervention.


Large improvements in BDI, GHQ, and WHOQOL scores were found, with strong changes consistent with the targets of the intervention. Patients reported primary-based clinical psychology input was more convenient and many engaged who had resisted referral to secondary mental health services. Other benefits to the service, including improved primary-secondary service integration, improved primary management of mental health difficulties, and improved liaison with mental health specialists, were reported by primary health staff.


Brief psychological interventions by a visiting clinical psychologist in a general practice setting had substantial benefits for the patients and for the practice. This project indicates the value of integrated psychological input consistent with recent moves to better primary-secondary integration in mental health care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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