Psychologists Partnering With Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Meeting the Need for Patient-Centered Models of Women’s Health Care Delivery

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Abstract

As obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) practices move toward becoming patient-centered medical homes for their patients, the need for providing integrated behavioral health care has increased. Themes common in ob/gyn settings—such as menstruation concerns, initiation of contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause—serve as occasions for health promotion and as life transitions where behavioral health concerns may arise. When these transitions are complicated by issues such as trauma, infertility, and pregnancy loss, the need for sensitive, collaborative care between psychology and obstetrics/gynecology becomes particularly critical. Women’s health psychologists can serve a key role for ob/gyn practices by co-managing patients’ care, offering consultation to providers, providing brief behavioral health consultations to patients, facilitating psychotherapy engagement, and providing treatment for women and their families.

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