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A randomized trial in general practice compared: (i) a brief psychological treatment (problem-solving) given by a psychiatrist; (ii) any treatment of the GP's choice, whether psychological or pharmacological. The patients had recent onset emotional disorders of poor prognosis. Patients in the problem-solving group showed significantly greater reductions in symptoms. Problem-solving as given by a psychiatrist was feasible in primary care and acceptable to patients. Problem-solving is now being evaluated as given by general practitioners trained in the method.
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