Psychiatrists' and internists' knowledge and attitudes about delivery of clinical preventive medical services

Caroline P. Carney, William R. Yates, Christopher J. Goerdt, Bradley N. Doebbeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: Changes in the health care environment have placed a greater responsibility on psychiatrists to deliver basic primary care services. The study assessed baseline knowledge and attitudes about clinical preventive medical services among psychiatric faculty and psychiatric residents at a tertiary care medical center. Methods: Residents and faculty in psychiatry and general internal medicine completed a structured questionnaire, including 20 case scenarios, that assessed their baseline knowledge of clinical preventive medical services, their attitudes concerning delivery of those services, and their beliefs about the effectiveness of those services in changing patients' behavior. The case scenarios and knowledge questions were based on the clinical preventive medical services recommendations outlined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Results: Psychiatrists reported more frequent assessment of and counseling about the use of illicit drugs and weapons, and internists were more likely to query about measures related to physical health such as cancer screening and immunizations. The two groups reported similar attitudes toward the need for and the efficacy of preventive medical services. Commonly cited barriers to the delivery of preventive care included lack of time and education. Psychiatrists scored reasonably well on baseline knowledge about guidelines for preventive medical services, particularly given their recent lack of specific education in these matters. Conclusions: Psychiatrists believe clinical preventive services are important and express interest in their delivery. Additional educational interventions are needed to train psychiatrists in clinical preventive services to avoid missed clinical opportunities for intervention in psychiatric populations that may have poor access to other medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1600
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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