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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An action research study of collaborative relationhips between psychotherapists and medical doctors
by Jackson, Margaret A., D.S.W., Capella University, 2015, 118; 3718905
Abstract (Summary)

Evidence has demonstrated that clients served at community mental health clinics are not receiving optimal quality of care. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that physical health problems can complicate the treatment for mental health disorders. Consequently, both mental health and physical health conditions should be treated together. A review of the literature found an absence of information on collaborative efforts between clinicians for providing integrative treatment to mental health patients. This is especially true for low income, minority, and other populations typically treated at community-based clinics. This action research project used a triangulation approach to investigate psychotherapists’ level of collaboration with medical doctors and other healthcare practitioners and to assess knowledge of integrative and non-pharmacological health practices. A sample of N = 30 psychotherapists employed at selected community mental health clinics, completed an 18-item close-ended survey. Findings suggest that half of psychotherapists (50%) reported ever communicating with physicians, nutritionist/dieticians (27%), and other types of alternative healthcare practitioners (10%). Familiarity with integrative and non-pharmacological approaches to care was negligible among the entire sample of respondents, and even lower among those without a history of clinician collaboration. A subsample of n = 6 psychotherapists participated in a focus group discussion. Data were used to conduct a thematic analysis of key barriers and opportunities perceived by the participants. Findings identified gaps in knowledge and practices and will be used to initiate collaboration and delivery of integrative healthcare approaches by psychotherapists treating patients at these community-based mental health clinics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thompson, Tina
Commitee: Tirrito, Teresa, Van Cleave, Diane
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Psychology
Keywords: Collaborative relationship, Healthcare, Improvment, Intervention, Mental health, Physical health
Publication Number: 3718905
ISBN: 978-1-321-99077-5
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