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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 2002 March;43(1):11-22

language: Italian

Characteristics of a sample of patients at development age sent by the National Health Service to NHS-recognised private clinics for psychoterapy treatment

Finicelli C., Giussani S., Pierandrei M.


Background. This study aimed at monitoring the rate of patients in development age sent for psychotherapy treatment to private clinics operating within the National Health Service. This study also focused on their characteristics in terms of gender, age and environment, with the aim of comparing them with data at a national level.
Methods. A descriptive epidemiological study was carried out to gather data on patients of the Local Health Dept. no. 1, in the Province of Milan; population 914,737 inhabitants. Individual and environmental variables (age, gender, environment) were crossed with variables of the psychotherapy treatment (starting age, frequency and duration of treatment). Measures used were: absolute values, frequency distribution, rates and x2.
Results. The study focused on 84 patients of development age ‹ 6.5 out of 10,000 residents having the same age. Sixty-nine per cent of these patients started therapy when they were between 5-9 and 10-14 years old. Male patients prevailed in schooling and pre-schooling age whereas female patients were the majority among teenagers. Seventy-one point four per cent of the sample underwent a weekly therapy, especially those patients living with their families or within the community. Ninety per cent of the sample had started treatment during the previous four years.
Conclusions. The study underlined the need for developing psychotherapy treatments that take into account the various individual and environmental variables examined. The link role played by the national health operators in working with NHS-certified clinics is also stressed, with the aim of fostering good and effective responses from patients.

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