Changes in medical problems and use of medical services following psychological intervention

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Important life changes and significant psychological stress occur before, during, and after episodes of physical illness in the lives of many individuals. Significant life-adjustment or developmental difficulties have been shown to be associated with high use of medical services. This article discusses the reduction in medical problems and use of medical facilities with referral for psychological services. On the assumption that psychologists can contribute significantly to reduction in patients' psychological stress levels and associated physical complaints, a new self-image for many psychologists could be that of health care professional. Furthermore, this self-image and role could be implemented by having psychologists contribute to the treatment of patients in a continuous manner, starting with the initial patient visit to a health care facility. (44 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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