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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 December;42(4):285-98

language: Italian

Psychotherapy in the public health system criteria adopted by psychologists and nature of therapeutic treatment in a local health unit (ASL) in Lombardy (Italy)

Finicelli C., Colombo A., Verga E.


Background. The aim of this study is to analyse the guidelines adopted by ASL (Milan Province 1) psychologists regarding the implementation of psychotherapeutic treatment in the Public Health System.
Methods. The survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire given to psychologists employed by the ASL Public Health System with a view to collecting information regarding worker habits, theoretical reference models, as well as type of psychotherapeutic treatment performed. The sample consisted of 31 registered psychologists qualified to perform psychotherapy. The data is expressed in absolute values and percentage allocation.
Results. The majority of psychologists are women (80.6%) aged mainly between 41 and 45 years (48.4%). The most common theoretical reference model was the psychoanalytical one (58.1%). As regards diagnostic code, the instrument most frequently used proved to be DSM IV (61.3%), whilst criteria considered relevant vis-à-vis the assessment of possible psychotherapeutic treatment proved to be those obtained within the patient-therapist relationship. The main method regarding psychotherapeutic therapy was individual treatment (77.4%) on a weekly (67.7%) or fortnightly (58.1%) basis, with a variable duration of 1-2 years (61.7%) completed by other types of treatment (67.7%).
Conclusions. The survey showed significant agreement regarding the viability of psychotherapy in the Public Health System, together with a need to improve internal psychotherapy consistency‹from initial definitions of the theoretical parameters selected to treatment conclusion.

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