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Need and use of psychotherapeutic interventions within a psychosomatic liaison service in neurology

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Fritzsche K, Ratz U, Zeeck A, Braune S, Burger T, Wirsching M. Need and use of psychotherapeutic interventions within a psychosomatic liaison service in neurology.

Acta Neurol Scand 2003: 107: 285–292. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003.

Objectives– The study addresses the evaluation of psychosocial distress, the need for care as determined by a psychotherapist and patients, and the realization of psychotherapeutic interventions within a routine psychosomatic liaison service.

Material and methods– A total of 84 patients from one unit at the Department of Neurology of the University of Freiburg, Germany, underwent a structured psychodiagnostic interview and filled out self-rating instruments to evaluate mental disorders, psychosocial distress, ways of coping strategies and quality of life. The need for treatment and the motivation of patients were estimated by both patients and a liaison psychotherapist.

Results– Using ICD-10-F criteria, mental and behavioral disorders were diagnosed in 35% of cases. Professional assessment indicated a need for psychotherapeutic treatment in 37% of patients; actual intervention occurred in 27%. Only slight agreement was found between the estimated need for treatment and the interventions actually performed.

Conclusions– The realization of psychotherapeutic interventions is subject to a complex interaction between the needs of a patient, the “objective” psychosocial distress of the patient, and institutional factors. About 10% of the hospitalized patients considered in the study need continuous psychotherapeutic treatment.

Keywords: consultation liaison service; neurology; psychosocial distress; psychotherapeutic interventions

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutic Medicine; and 2: Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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