Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

Collaborative Prescribing Rights for Psychologists: The New Zealand Perspective

Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

Collaborative Prescribing Rights for Psychologists: The New Zealand Perspective

Article excerpt

The circulation in 2007 of a Ministry of Health consultation paper focusing on the extension of collaborative prescribing rights to non-medical professionals has again brought the issue of psychologist prescribing into sharp relief. In the context of mental health workforce shortfalls there has been a slow expansion of psychologists prescribing in America. Closer to home, the Australian Psychological Society has recently completed a survey amongst members and developed a proposal for psychologists to prescribe. In light of these developments, and the Ministry of Health initiated discussion of collaborative prescribing, it seemed pertinent that New Zealand psychologists review their position on this issue. A survey of New Zealand psychologists was undertaken to obtain local perspectives of collaborative prescribing. A small majority of the 571 respondents indicated that they supported the idea of collaborative prescribing, and saw a need for it at least in some areas of health care. Psychologists providing clinical services indicated that collaborative prescribing could be potentially useful in their practice. Several arguments for and against prescribing were considered important, but the impact of collaborative prescribing on the nature of psychology as a profession raised the most concern.

Keywords: psychology, prescribing, medication, collaboration, survey

**********

The issue of non-medical professionals in New Zealand undertaking prescribing activities has recently became more salient with the Ministry of Health (Moll) circulating a consultation paper entitled, Enabling the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill to Allow for the Development of Collaborative Prescribing (Ministry of Health, 2006). This paper invited consideration of the need for collaborative prescribing, potential models/systems, and what skills practitioners might require. These are difficult questions for the New Zealand psychology community to answer as we are somewhat behind our international counterparts in developing a position on collaborative prescribing. Multiple surveys regarding the extension of prescribing privileges to psychologists have been conducted within the United States over the last three decades (Baird, 2007; Fagan, Ax, Liss, Resnick, & Moody, 2007; Fagan et al., 2004; Grandin & Blackmore, 2006; Sammons, Gorny, Zinner, & Allen, 2000; Walters, 2001). Legislation supporting psychologists prescribing has been introduced in New Mexico and Louisiana, and is under consideration in several other states. The Australian Psychological Society (APS, 2007) has also conducted a survey of its members. Finding that the majority of respondents supported prescribing in principle, the APS is now developing a proposal for the training and registration of prescribing psychologists. The United Kingdom and Canada have yet to canvas the views of their psychology communities, but have at least entered into the debate (e.g., Lavoie & Barone, 2006). Apart from a survey of 36 New Zealand psychologists published in 1995 by the NZ Clinical Psychologist, little attention has been given to the arguments for and against collaborative prescribing in New Zealand.

Meeting mental health needs is a key consideration for all communities currently introducing or considering introducing prescribing psychologists (Lavoie & Barone, 2006; Norfleet, 2002; Price, 2008; Westra, Eastwood, Bouffard, & Gerritsen, 2006). A potential shortage of psychiatry services prompted the APS to investigate the views of their membership on this topic (APS Prescription Rights Working Group, 2007). APS respondents ranked "increased access to prescribing professional, particularly in areas with currently poor access to psychiatrists" as the number one reason for training prescribing psychologists. Second to this was the argument that prescribing psychologists could provide more effective assessment, treatment, and continuity of care than was currently available. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.