Click here to download

Primary care psychologists in Veneto: A preliminary study
Author/s: Paolo Santoro, Natale Canale, Emilia Laugelli, Nicola Michieletto, Alessio Vieno, Alessandra Simonelli, Massimo Santinello 
Year:  2016 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  13 Pg. 103-115 FullText PDF:  183 KB
DOI:  10.3280/PDS2016-003006
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 

Although the primary care psychologist is being increasingly implemented and evaluated to improve the well-being amongst patients in several countries, few studies have investigated his effects in Italy. The aim of the present study was to test whether a short term intervention, developed by a clinical psychologist based on four colloquies, can be useful in improving well-being of patients within a primary care setting. Doctors completed a form indicating the reason(s) for referral (a checklist of problems was provided) and alternative services, together with other information comprising patients’ socioeconomic/health status. The psychologists also recorded their clinical impression using the same checklist at the end of the intervention. Patients completed the General Well-being Index instrument. A total of 52 subjects took part on a voluntary basis (69.2% female, M= 47.8, DS= 14.4). Of these, 30 patients completed the intervention. The results of the present study reported higher levels of well-being at the end of the treatment, which was stable at follow-up. In addition, moderate distress-level patients showed best improvements. In conclusion, the results indicate that a short term intervention developed by a clinical psychologist delivered in a primary care setting may be a potentially promising strategy for patients with psychological problems, but who attend a primary care setting. This study should provide the basis for additional implementations of this service in other local sanitary units.
Keywords: Primary care psychologist, general physician, well-being

  1. Andrews G., Henderson S. and Hall W. (2001). Prevalence, comorbidity, disability and service utilisation Overview of the Australian National Mental Health Survey. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 178(2): 145-153., DOI: 10.1192/bjp.178.2.145
  2. Barsky A.J., Orav E.J. and Bates D.W. (2005). Somatization increases medical utilization and costs independent of psychiatric and medical comorbidity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(8): 903-10., DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.62.8.903.
  3. Bermingham S.L., Cohen A., Hague J. and Parsonage M. (2010). The cost of somatisation among the working-age population in England for the year 2008-2009. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 7(2): 71-84.
  4. Bower P., Rowland N. and Hardy R. (2003). The clinical effectiveness of counselling in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 33(2): 203-215., DOI: 10.1017/S003329170200697
  5. Bray J.H. (2004). Training primary care psychologists. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 11(2): 101-107., DOI: 10.1023/B:JOCS.0000025721.17763.d
  6. Chomienne M.H., Grenier J., Gaboury I., Hogg W., Ritchie P. and Farmanova-Haynes E. (2011). Family doctors and psychologists working together: doctors’ and patients’ perspectives. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 17(2): 282-287., DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01437.
  7. Cordella B. (2014). Medicina Generale e Psicologia: studio delle resocontazioni relative alla sperimentazione italiana [Primary Care and Psichology: a Study on the Reports of the Italian Experimental Protocol]. Rassegna di Psicologia, 1: 57-76., DOI: 10.7379/7644
  8. Cubic B., Mance J., Turgesen J.N. and Lamanna J.D. (2012). Interprofessional education: Preparing psychologists for success in integrated primary care. Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings, 19(1): 84-92., DOI: 10.1007/s10880-011-9291-
  9. Department of Health (2016). Reference cost guidance 2015-2016. Retrieved from:
  10. Derksen J. (1986). Clinical psychologists in the primary health care system in the Netherlands. American Psychologist, 41(3): 313-314.
  11. Derksen J. (2009). Primary care psychologists in the Netherlands: 30 years of experience. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(5): 493., DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.41.3.31
  12. De Girolamo G., Polidori G., Morosini P., Mazzi F., Serra G., Visonà G., Falsirollo F. et al. (2005). La prevalenza dei disturbi mentali in Italia. Il progetto ESEMED-WMH. Una sintesi [Prevalence of common mental disorders in Italy: The ESEMED-WMH Project. A summary]. Centro Nazionale di Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Roma, Italia.
  13. Dupuy H.J. (1984). The Psychological General Well-bein (PGWBI) Index. In: Wenger N.K., Mattson M.E., Furburg C.D. and Elinson J. (Eds.), Assessment of Quality of Life in Clinical Trials of Cardiovascular Therapies. New York: Le Jacq Publishing, pp. 170-183.
  14. Fisher L. and Dickinson W.P. (2014). Psychology and Primary Care New Collaborations for Providing Effective Care for Adults with Chronic Health Conditions. American Psychologist, 69(4): 355-363., DOI: 10.1037/a003610
  15. Fortune L., Gracey D., Burke M. and Rawson D. (2005). The effect of service setting on treatment outcome: A comparison between cognitive behavioural approaches within primary and secondary care. Journal of Mental Health, 14(5): 483-498., DOI: 10.1080/0963823050027116
  16. Goodrich D.E., Kilbourne A.M., Nord K.M. and Bauer M.S. (2013). Mental health collaborative care and its role in primary care settings. Current Psychiatry Reports, 15(8): 1-12., DOI: 10.1007/s11920-013-0383-
  17. Grossi E., Groth N., Mosconi P., Cerutti R., Pace F., Compare A. and Apolone G. (2006). Development and validation of the short version of the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB-S). Health Qual Life Outcomes, 4(1): 88., DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-4-88
  18. Grossi E., Mosconi P., Groth N., Niero M. e Apolone G. (2002). Il Questionario psychological general well being. Questionario per la valutazione dello stato generale di benessere psicologico. Versione italiana [The Psychological General Well being Questionnaire. The questionnaire assess psychological and general well-being. Italian Version]. Milano: Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri.
  19. Katon W., Lin E., Von Korff M., Russo J., Lipscomb P. and Bush T. (1991). Somatization: a spectrum of severity. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(1): 34-40., DOI: 10.1176/ajp.148.1.3
  20. Martin A., Rauh E., Fichter M. and Rief W. (2007). A one-session treatment for patients suffering from medically unexplained symptoms in primary care: a randomized clinical trial. Psychosomatics, 48(4): 294-303., DOI: 10.1176/appi.psy.48.4.29
  21. McDaniel S.H. (1995). Collaborating Between Psychologist and Family Physician. Implementing the Biopsychosocial Model. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26(2): 117-122.
  22. McDaniel S.H., Belar C.D., Schroeder C., Hargrove D.S. and Freeman E.L. (2002). A training curriculum for professional psychologists in primary care. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(1): 65-72., DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.33.1.6
  23. Ministero della Salute (2014). Relazione sullo stato sanitario del Paese 2012-2013. Centro stampa del Ministero della salute. Retrieved from: C_17_pubblicazioni_2258_allegato.pdf
  24. Rief W., Martin A., Klaiberg A. and Brähler E. (2005). Specific effects of depression, panic, and somatic symptoms on illness behavior. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(4): 596-601.
  25. Setiyawati D., Blashki G., Wraith R., Colucci E. and Minas R. (2014). Indonesian experts’ perspectives on a curriculum for psychologists working in primary health care in Indonesia. Health Psychology & Behavioural Medicine, 2(1): 623-639., DOI: 10.1080/21642850.2014.91294
  26. Smith G.R., Rost K. and Kashner T.M. (1995). A trial of the effect of a standardized psychiatric consultation on health outcomes and costs in somatizing patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52(3): 238-243.
  27. Solano L., Pirrotta E., Ingravalle V. and Fayella P. (2009). The family physician and the psychologist in the office together: a response to fragmentation. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 6(2): 91-98.
  28. Verhaak P.F.M., Kamsma H. and van der Niet A. (2013). Mental Health Treatment Provided by Primary Care Psychologists in the Netherlands. Psychiatric Services, 64(1): 94-97., DOI: 10.1176/
  29. World Health Organization. (2001). The World Health Report 2001: Mental health: new understanding, new hope. World Health Organization. Retrieved from: http://www.

Paolo Santoro, Natale Canale, Emilia Laugelli, Nicola Michieletto, Alessio Vieno, Alessandra Simonelli, Massimo Santinello, Primary care psychologists in Veneto: A preliminary study in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 3/2016, pp. 103-115, DOI:10.3280/PDS2016-003006


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content