Factors Influencing Styles of Medical Practice: The Use of Psychiatric Referrals by Non-psychiatric Physicians

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There is substantial variation between physicians in the extent to which they employ psychiatric referral as a mechanism for dealing with their patients who have psychiatric problems. A variety of factors, including personal characteristics, professional attitudes, training and practice characteristics, were hypothesized to influence styles of practice in this area of medicine. A regression equation with a multiple R of .71 indicated that personal characteristics and attitudes were particularly strongly related, but that practice and patient characteristics as well as training also play some role in influencing a physician's behavior.

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