May 1990

Improvement in Physicians' Counseling of Patients With Mental Health Problems

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Internal Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine (Drs Brody and Caputo and Ms Wolfson); and the Division of Cancer Control, Fox Chase Cancer Center (Dr Lerman), Philadelphia, Pa.

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(5):993-998. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390170049012

• This study evaluated the impact of two interventions: (1) detailed feedback about a patient's mental health problem and desires for specific mental health interventions, and (2) a counseling protocol on medical residents' management of patients with mental health problems. These patients were seen in either a control, feedback, or feedback/protocol clinic. Immediately following their medical visit we found the following differences between feedback and control patients: feedback patients reported that the stress counseling they received was more valuable, and they were more satisfied with their physician; feedback patients also perceived greater decreases in the amount of overall stress experienced, and reported greater increases in their perceived control over stress. There were no outcome differences between feedback and feedback/protocol patients. We conclude that the feedback provided in this study can enhance physicians' ability to counsel primary care patients with mental health problems.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:993-998)