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Impact of counsellors in primary care on referrals to secondary mental health services

  • Mel White (a1), Natasha Bijlani (a1), Rob Bale (a1) and Tom Burns (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

A questionnaire survey of all general practices in one health authority plus an assessment of a random sample of referrals were used to evaluate the impact of counsellors in primary care on referrals to mental health services.

Results

A total of 91.1% of practices responded to the survey. A counsellor was present in 20.3% of these practices. A random sample of 180 referrals to community mental health teams was reviewed. There was a significantly higher referral rate from practices that employed a counsellor (P = 0.003). There was no evidence of a difference in rates of caseness of referrals between practices that employed a counsellor and those that did not.

Clinical Implications

Practices employing counsellors had significantly higher referral rates to mental health services, with no difference in the level of caseness between the two groups of referrals.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Boot, D., Gillies, P., Fenelon, J., et al (1994) Evaluation of the short-term impact of counselling in general practice. Patient Education and Counselling, 24, 7989.
Burns, T., Beadsmoore, A., Bhat, A. V., et al (1993) A controlled trial of home-based acute psychiatric services. I: Clinical and social outcome. British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 4954.
Cape, J. & Parham, A. (1998) Relationship between practice counselling and referral to outpatient psychiatry and clinical psychology. British Journal of General Practice, 48, 14771480.
Fletcher, J., Fahey, J. & McWilliam, J. (1995) Relationship between the provision of counselling and the prescribing of antidepressants, hypnotics and anxiolytics in general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 45, 467469.
Goldberg, D. & Huxley, P. (1992) Common Mental Disorders. London: Routledge.
Johnstone, A. & Goldberg, D. (1976) Psychiatric screening in general practice. A controlled trial, Lancet, i, 605608.
Sibbald, B., Addington-Hall, J., Brenneman, D., et al (1993) Counsellors in English and Welsh general practices: their nature and distribution. British Medical Journal, 306, 2933.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Impact of counsellors in primary care on referrals to secondary mental health services

  • Mel White (a1), Natasha Bijlani (a1), Rob Bale (a1) and Tom Burns (a1)
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