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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


BERARDI, Domenico et al. Models of collaboration between general practice and mental health services in Italy. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.1, pp.79-84. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and objectives: Anxiety and Depressive disorders represent an important public health problem, which involves not only the mental health services, but the General Practice as well. This paper examines models of Collaboration between General Practice and Community Mental Health Services developed in Italy. Methods: Different Consultation -Liaison activities are presented. For every Collaboration model advantages and disadvantage are discussed. Results: The structured Consultation Liaison Service is based on supplying diagnostic consultation and therapeutic interventions in support of General Practitioners (GPs). The service could be based in either a Community Mental Health Centre (CMHC) or externally. Diagnostic evaluation can be followed by brief and focal therapeutic interventions, in support of the GP's therapeutic plan. The spontaneous collaboration in small centres are frequent in rural areas where the contained dimensions of the services and the direct acquaintance between psychiatrists and GPs encourage the personalization of the collaboration. The model of Liaison and Group-Training focuses on direct contact between consultant and GPs. In the course of regular meetings, the consultant gives the GPs supervision and education, and they can discuss the therapeutic plans for patients requiring specialist intervention. Conclusion: The empiric classification presented should be considered an attempt to represent a complex reality. Every service, in fact, carries out activities that are necessarily wider than abstract typologies and that overlap with other models' activities.

Keywords : Primary health care; Community mental; Health services; Consultation-Liaison psychiatry.

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