Since the publication of the Trethowan Report (1977) psychologists have been encouraged to expand their role outside the more orthodox psychiatric setting. As a small and steadily developing professional group, they have attempted to gain visibility by seeking alliances with medical specialties other than psychiatry, which had provided them with a kind of sheltered environment since the inception of the National Health Service. General practitioners have probably most often been solicited in these attempts to obtain a wider recognition. The favourable response of many general practitioners created the necessary climate to stimulate clinical psychologists to carry out systematic evaluations of their contribution to primary care (McPherson and Feldman, 1977; Johnston, 1978; Ives, 1979; Koch, 1979; Earll and Kincey, 1980).
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