WHY MIGHT A MEDICAL DOCTOR REFER A PATIENT TO A CLINICAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST?
1. A patient presents with possible psychiatric pathology such as depression, anxiety, cognitive problems, significant anger, lack of impulse control, or bizarre behavior.
2. Medical complaints seem out of proportion to organic pathology.
3. Psychological components appear to be exacerbating the patient's medical condition or precluding appropriate treatment.
4. The patient seems to require more time and attention than usual.
5. The patient does not adhere to prescribed treatment plans.
6. The patient takes anxiolytic, sleep, or analgesic medication for a longer period of time than appropriate and appear resistant to weaning from these medications.
7. The patient exhibits significant maladaptive health behavior such as smoking, overeating, sedentary lifestyle, or mismanagement of prescribed medications.
8. The patient reports significant family problems in dealing with illness or a caregiver appears under significant emotional distress.
9. The patient repeatedly raises issues/questions already addressed by medical provider.
10. The patient's insurance company requires a pre-surgical psychological evaluation prior to approving surgery.
HOW MIGHT A MEDICAL DOCTOR INTRODUCE A MENTAL HEALTH REFERRAL TO THEIR PATIENTS?
1. A referral for chronic pain or stress management.
2. A referral to determine if other factors, such as stress or unhealthy personal habits, are exacerbating their physical complaints or underlying medical conditions.
3. A referral to help prepare patients psychologically for upcoming surgery or a major medical procedure.
4. A referral for mental health polypharmacy. Patients may be able to eliminate some or all of their psychoactive medications with behavioral therapy & stress reduction techniques.
5. A referral to enlist the assistance of a third party to facilitate improved physician-patient communication.
6. A referral for a specific wellness program, such as weight management, stress reduction, sleep hygiene, or smoking cessation.