Stepped psychological intervention with common mental disorders in Primary Care

Julio César Martín, Ascensión Garriga, Carmen Egea, Gonzalo Diaz, María-Josefa Campillo, Rosa María Espinosa


A model of psychological intervention for common mental disorders in Primary Care is analized. Two clinical psychologists and four resident psychologists interviewed 566 users to treat mild to moderate anxiety / depression disorders, bereavement or nonorganic insomnia disorders. Standardized assessment leads to a stepped intervention: indication of no treatment, brief group or individual intervention in Primary Care Center (PCC) or referral to Mental Health.

Socio-demographic and clinical variables describe the sample and allow comparison betwen groups. Of the 566 interviewees, the mean age was 37 years, 70% were women, 50% with psychopharmacological treatment and 10% on sick leave. The steps of intervention were: 19% were intervention indication of no treatment, 71% PCC intervention and 10% were referred to Mental Health. Adaptive, emotional and generalized anxiety disorders were predominant, with significant differences between centers depending on the location and clinical psychologist integration mode in PCC.

Integrating the clinical psychologist in PCC improve access to psychological interventions and reduces mild to moderate mental disorders medication. Assessment prevents unnecessary treatment onset and increases the likelihood of appropriate treatment indications, which is cost-effective.


Clinical Psychology; primary care; psychological intervention; mental disorder

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