Liaison Psychiatry - a New Clinical Subspecialty?

By Birt, Mircea Al; Dumitrascu, Dan et al. | Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, March 2009 | Go to article overview

Liaison Psychiatry - a New Clinical Subspecialty?


Birt, Mircea Al, Dumitrascu, Dan, Sandor, Vlaicu, Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies


Abstract

The term "liaison psychiatry" expresses, on the one hand, the act of consultation, the psychiatric intervention intended for the patient and, on the other hand, it emphasizes the assistance given to the physicians and the therapeutic team treating the patients. Liaison psychiatry aims to become a new subspecialty of psychiatry whose purpose is to study and manage mental disorders in patients treated by other medical disciplines. The activities of liaison psychiatry involve: initial focus on the consultation of the admitted patient, extensive services with multidisciplinary personnel, offers for various hospital activities (e.g. emergency care) and specialties (e.g. obstetrics and oncology), services for specific medical problems requiring collaborative planning, training and the supervision of the medical team, liaison and consultation by the liaison team, an increased interest in the treatment of functional symptoms, activities for discharged patients, connections with primary care, training and supervision for clinical medical and surgical teams. Recent reviews of the literature suggest that liaison psychiatry will require determination and political abilities if it is to assume the role it plays in multidisciplinary medical care approaches.

Key words: liaison psychiatry, activity, efficacy, perspectives

The term of American origin "liaison psychiatry" expresses, on the one hand, the act of consultation, the psychiatric intervention intended for the patient and, on the other hand, it emphasizes the assistance given to the physicians and the therapeutic team treating the patients.

The history of liaison psychiatry is rather recent. Its roots have obviously been influenced by the development of psychiatry, psychosomatics, clinical psychology, and by the presence of psychiatric units in general hospitals.

As a result of the outcomes attained by units affiliated to liaison psychiatry and particularly due to Lipowski's efforts, starting with 1974, the importance of liaison psychiatry in the training of psychiatrists and physicians of other specialties has been widely recognized in the USA and Canada (Lipowski & Wise, 2002).

Beginning with the 1960s-1970s, liaison psychiatry acquired credit in Europe, particularly in France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Netherlands and Italy, which then extended to Australia, South America and New Zealand. Starting with the 1990s, the term liaison psychiatry has become widely used in the literature (Mayou, 2007).

However, confusion persists regarding the objectives and the area of liaison psychiatry. Moreover, the term is considered ill-chosen by many psychiatrists, it has generated numerous discussions and conceptual polemics, and there are a number of different labels used in various countries. Thus, in some countries the term of psychosomatic medicine is preferred, in others psychological medicine, general psychiatry or behavioral medicine, all of which essentially reflect the areas covered by liaison psychiatry. The various terms reflect attempts of describing the objectives, the clinical problem, the specific population or the way in which the service is offered. The unsolved problem of terminology reflects the unsolved problem of the mind-body relationship, of the somatic-psychiatric symptoms relationship. In most, if not all, developed countries, there is a "segregation" of general health services and mental health services.

In this context, the legitimate question arises regarding the extent to which psychosomatic medicine and liaison psychiatry overlap. Psychosomatic medicine has focused particularly on theoretical approaches of the mind-body relationship, highlighting the role of psychosocial factors in the onset of somatic diseases and of psychiatric interventions in their treatment. In its current meaning, the term "psychosomatics" designates somatic symptoms usually attributed to mental disorders of affective origin or of conflicting nature. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Liaison Psychiatry - a New Clinical Subspecialty?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.