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
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