Balint groups as 'shared care' in the area of mental health in primary medicine

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Abstract:

This paper describes how Balint groups can be effective for primary care doctors and how leaders of these groups can act as role models in the interdisciplinary, experiential learning experience. The paper describes the way Balint activity helps the facilitation of a dialogue between mental health professionals and primary care physicians. While these groups have been found to improve the sensitivity of doctors in their interaction with patients, Balint groups, with the joint leadership of professionals from different disciplines, can be seen as an effective method to improve primary care and mental health cooperation. These issues are discussed and appropriate examples outlined offering an uncommon perspective on an interesting topic to promote an integrated, shared model of care.

Keywords: BALINT GROUPS; MENTAL HEALTH; SHARED CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Senior Clinical and Medical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Soroka University Medical Center and Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel;, Email: stanleyra@clalit.org.il 2: Department of Psychiatry, Soroka University Medical Center and Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel 3: Senior Psychiatrist, Soroka University Medical Center and Lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel 4: Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine, Tel Aviv University Medical School and Head of Department of Family Medicine, Rabin Medical Center, Petach Tikva, Israel

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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