Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Communication, Coordination Are Key to Successful Split Treatment Arrangements. (Integrating Drugs and Psychotherapy)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Communication, Coordination Are Key to Successful Split Treatment Arrangements. (Integrating Drugs and Psychotherapy)

Article excerpt

DESTIN, FLA. -- The integration of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy is increasingly important in psychiatry, but the ability of psychiatrists to perform both functions has dwindled as a result of cost-containment efforts.

These efforts, particularly on the part of managed care companies, have resulted in a trend toward split treatment. Therapy is provided by less costly social workers, psychologists, or other nonphysician counselors, and medical treatments are prescribed by psychiatrists.

"Psychiatrists in the 21st century need to be capable of and interested in integrating pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for the benefit of their patients," Dr. Daniel K. Winstead said at a psychiatric conference sponsored by Tulane University.

But more and more often that means being willing to work together with other clinicians on behalf of a patient, he added. This can be difficult; dyadic issues are complex enough, and adding a third-and sometimes a fourth- party to the relationship can create a real challenge. Good collaboration, however, is imperative for treatment adherence and a successful outcome.

One of the most important aspects of collaboration is communication. Clinicians should establish communication at the outset. Information should be shared about individual ideology and about patient history-especially in terms of medication adherence. …

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