Advantages of the psychiatric liaison-attachment scheme in a family medicine clinic. Academic Article uri icon


  • The study presents the advantages of the psychiatric liaison-attachment scheme, by analyzing the psychiatric consultations of a 12 months period (1995), in an urban family medicine clinic in Israel. Family physicians filled a questionnaire about all patients who had been seen at the consultation. The consulting psychiatrist saw 46 patients. The reasons for consultation were mostly to confirm a diagnosis and to decide upon medications. Medical diagnoses most often made were depression and personality disorder. The psychiatrist referred 35% of patients for further therapy in the psychiatric clinic. The family physicians would have referred 45% of patients to psychiatric clinics, if they had no psychiatric consultation available. All patients referred complied with the recommended referral. Family physicians saw accessibility as the main advantage of this consultation strategy. This study was done in a unique setting, a teaching family medicine clinic, with nine specialized family physicians working in the psychiatric liaison-attachment scheme for as long as 10 years and more. Therefore the results of this study may not be generalized to other clinics. We conclude that the advantages of the psychiatric liaison-consultation method were for the patients, the family physicians and the psychiatric consultant. The main advantages for the family physicians, as stated by them, were the accessibility, the non-stigmatic availability of a psychiatrist in the clinic, and the good compliance with referral to psychiatric therapy. For the consulting psychiatrist, the advantages were the valuable information from the family physicians and the social worker, the better follow-up of patients and the team work with the family practice team.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999