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GPs need more training to help patients with depression

General practitioners may require more extensive training and support to acquire skills to help patients with depression, finds a study in this weeks BMJ.

Researchers recruited 84 general practitioners and 272 of their patients with anxiety or depression. Half the doctors received basic training in brief cognitive (mental) behaviour therapy and half provided their usual care.

After six months, doctors knowledge of depression and attitudes towards its treatment showed no major difference between trained and untrained doctors. The training also had no discernible impact on patients outcomes.

Basic training in brief cognitive behaviour therapy has little effect on general practitioners' attitudes to the identification and treatment of depression or the outcome of their patients with emotional problems, say the authors. Either they did not learn sufficient skills or had little time to put them into effect.

They suggest that general practitioners may require more extensive training and support if they are to acquire skills that will have a positive impact on their patients.


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Contact: Emma Wilkinson
ewilkinson@bmj.com
00-44-207-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
18-Apr-2002


Page: 1

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