Showing posts with label Medication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medication. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Psychologists as Prescribers

The debate rages on here. Well, perhaps not rages but is, at least, current.

Should psychologists prescribe medication? I have to say that I'm not keen on this move forward.

Why?

Even with the provision of more in-depth psychopharmacological training, I don't believe the level of knowledge would be sufficient to account for all the variables that need to be considered in medicating someone. From a personal point of view, I think a medical background is essential.

I also think that many patients prefer their psychologists as non-prescribers, especially those that don't want to go down the medication route. I'm not adverse to medication at all and patients who are intially resistant to the idea will often reconsider as an interim measure if they're having trouble doing psychological work. When that happens, both the patient and I seem comfortable having either the patient's doctor or a psychiatrist involved.

What do you think? Drop a comment or tick off a box on the poll in the side bar.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Psychopharmacology

Another story alerting people to the potential dangers of drug treatments in psychological disorders can be read here. It is also due to be aired on television this weekend.

I won't go through all the details as you can follow the link to the article yourself but the basic premise is that adverse effects from anti-depressant treatments can actually worsen the situation. The article claims support from leading doctors and medical researchers but fails to provide any details which makes it hard to give any serious consideration to. It will be interesting to see what the television report covers.

For any readers, there are two important things to take from this article.

Firstly, the words of Professor Gordon Parker of The Black Dog Institute:

"The key thing when a clinician is managing
a patient is to do a cost benefit analysis: is this
drug helping, does this drug have side effects?"

Absolutely. If you're being prescribed medication, any medication, you should be asking this question for yourself.

Secondly, the fact that Australia has typically relied heavily on pharmaceutical interventions in mental illness because psychological assistance has been typically been largely available only to those who can afford to pay for it. Thankfully, recent changes to Medicare have changed that. If you're experiencing problems, make sure you ask your GP about the new psychological initiatives covered by Medicare.