Friday, August 8, 2008

Psychiatrists Prescribing More Drugs, But Not Psychotherapy

A declining number of office-based psychiatrists appear to be providing psychotherapy to their patients, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Psychotherapy has been part of the practice of psychiatry for generations. "Yet, despite the traditional prominence of psychotherapy in psychiatric practice and training, there are indications of a recent decline in the provision of psychotherapy by US psychiatrists -- a trend attributed to reimbursement policies favouring brief medication management visits rather than psychotherapy and the introduction of newer psychotropic medications with fewer adverse effects," the authors wrote.

Ramin Mojtabai, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, and Mark Olfson, MD, Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, analysed trends in psychotherapy provision using data from national surveys of office-based psychiatrist visits from 1996 through 2005.


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