A study of the preferences of family practitioners and other primary care physicians in treating patients' psychosocial problems

Soc Work Health Care. 1987 Winter;13(2):75-91. doi: 10.1300/j010v13n02_07.


Family medicine specialists claim that they treat patients' psychosocial problems as well as their biological problems. Forty-four family physicians and 130 other primary care physicians at two urban medical centers in a large city completed a questionnaire designed to identify if any differences existed in their preferred mode of treating patients' psychosocial problems. Seventy percent of the time, family physicians, like other primary care physicians, preferred referring patients with psychosocial problems to social workers and other mental health experts to treating psychosocial problems themselves. The study has implications for family medicine, social work, and health care planning in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Family Practice / education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Social Work
  • Socialization