Training models for psychiatry in primary care: A new frontier

Rachael Murrihy, Mitchell K. Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Under policies implemented by the Australian Government, the success of community mental health care has increasingly relied upon general practitioners (GPs) assuming an enhanced role in the delivery of evidence-based psychological treatment. In undertaking this role, it is crucial that GPs significantly build upon limited training in evidence-based psychological therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). This pilot study investigates the potential role of CBT group supervision as a training model. Method: Two groups of GPs (n = 9) and one comparison group of psychiatric registrars (n = 4) completed eight 1.5 h sessions of CBT group supervision over an 8 month period. Pre- to post-training measures were taken of GP performance (skills, knowledge and confidence) and the mental health outcomes of their patients. On the completion of group supervision, focus groups were conducted for in-depth feedback. Results: Randomization tests indicated that GPs' confidence and knowledge in using CBT had improved over the course of group supervision. Results from focus groups confirmed that GPs' CBT skills had improved. Conclusions: Findings suggest that group supervision is a promising training model for psychiatry in primary care. Cognitive behaviour therapy should be replaced, however, with a briefer therapy model, such as brief CBT, better suited to a general practice environment. Future research needs to replicate these findings on a larger scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


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