Defining a behavioral science curriculum for family physicians: What do patients think?

J Fam Pract. 1982 Aug;15(2):339-45.


Patients have infrequently been assessed about their desire for their family physician to possess a certain level of expertise in managing a wide range of behavioral science problems. This has led to inconsistencies in the type of behavioral science training offered to family physicians and thence to a marked discrepancy between the amount of training offered (relatively large) and the amount of mental health care provided (relatively small). This study reports the result of a study of patient attitudes concerning the level of involvement by their family physician for each of 45 psychosocial problems. The levels offered were (1) no help, (2) referral, (3) compassion, concern, and minor advice, and (4) expert therapeutic help. The mean responses place a majority (25 of the 45) of the problems in level 3. Certain obvious problems appeared in level 1 (religious/church problems) and level 4 (pregnancy). Child behavioral problems dominated in level 2. Certain surprises were also found, such as the presence of problems of marital discord in level 1, and the problem of long-term pain in level 4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Behavioral Sciences / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family
  • Pilot Projects
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires