Assessment of psychological issues and needs in the specialties of a large teaching hospital
Evidence is growing for the efficacy of psychological interventions in many areas of medicine. Because psychologists working in this field are still relatively few, priority should be given to their involvement in tasks which use their time and unique skills efficiently. In this study, psychological issues, existing services and unmet need were assessed in a large teaching hospital. Interviews took place with senior medical and nursing professionals from 18 specialties without regular psychology input. At least one psychological issue (mean = 4.2) was raised for every specialty. Most issues had the potential to be addressed by a psychologist and, for a significant proportion, such input was essential if the issue was to be addressed. Seventeen specialties already used related services (e.g. liaison psychiatry or counselling). However, 16 specialties reported some unmet psychological need and its extent was usually moderate to high (sometimes enough to fill a full-time job).
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