David Pierce, Jane Gunn[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: General practitioners have expressed concern that consultations offering psychological therapy approaches will take up too much time. However, problem solving therapy (PST) for depression may be able to be used within the time constraints of general practice. This study investigates whether GPs' concerns that PST would result in unacceptably long consultations are justified. general practitioners were observed providing PST in simulated consultations before and after PST training - PST skill and duration of consultations were measured. Twenty-four GPs participated. Problem solving therapy skill increased markedly, but mean consultation duration changed minimally: 17.3 minutes and 17.9 minutes. This research suggests that GPs can provide an evidence supported psychological treatment for depression within the time constraints of routine practice. The structured nature of PST may allow GPs to provide additional mental healthcare for depression, without significantly increasing consultation duration. It suggests GPs' concerns about the time PST may take up in practice may be unjustified and that further research into the use of PST in routine general practice should be undertaken.Australian family physician 05/2011; 40(5):334-6. · 0.73 Impact Factor
Article: Australian rural football club leaders as mental health advocates: an investigation of the impact of the Coach the Coach project.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mental ill health, especially depression, is recognised as an important health concern, potentially with greater impact in rural communities. This paper reports on a project, Coach the Coach, in which Australian rural football clubs were the setting and football coaches the leaders in providing greater mental health awareness and capacity to support early help seeking behaviour among young males experiencing mental health difficulties, especially depression. Coaches and other football club leaders were provided with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. Pre-post measures of the ability of those club leaders undertaking mental health training to recognise depression and schizophrenia and of their knowledge of evidence supported treatment options, and confidence in responding to mental health difficulties were obtained using a questionnaire. This was supplemented by focus group interviews. Pre-post questionnaire data from players in participating football clubs was used to investigate attitudes to depression, treatment options and ability to recognise depression from a clinical scenario. Key project stakeholders were also interviewed. Club leaders (n = 36) who were trained in MHFA and club players (n = 275) who were not trained, participated in this evaluation. More than 50% of club leaders who undertook the training showed increased capacity to recognise mental illness and 66% reported increased confidence to respond to mental health difficulties in others. They reported that this training built upon their existing skills, fulfilled their perceived social responsibilities and empowered them. Indirect benefit to club players from this approach seemed limited as minimal changes in attitudes were reported by players. Key stakeholders regarded the project as valuable. Rural football clubs appear to be appropriate social structures to promote rural mental health awareness. Club leaders, including many coaches, benefit from MHFA training, reporting increased skills and confidence. Benefit to club players from this approach was less obvious. However, the generally positive findings of this study suggest further research in this area is desirable.International Journal of Mental Health Systems 01/2010; 4:10.
Article: Identifying and addressing barriers to the use of enhanced primary care plans for chronic disease in rural practices.David PierceAustralian Journal of Rural Health 09/2009; 17(4):220-1. · 1.00 Impact Factor
Article: A controlled trial of internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy for panic disorder with face-to-face support from a general practitioner or email support from a psychologist.Ciaran Pier, David W Austin, Britt Klein, Joanna Mitchell, Peter Schattner, Lisa Ciechomski, Kathryn J Gilson, David Pierce, Kerrie Shandley, Victoria Wade[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Panic disorder (PD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders seen in general practice, but provision of evidence-based cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) is rare. Many Australian GPs are now trained to deliver focused psychological strategies, but in practice this is time consuming and costly.Objective To evaluate the efficacy of an internet-based CBT intervention (Panic Online) for the treatment of PD supported by general practitioner (GP)-delivered therapeutic assistance.Design Panic Online supported by GP-delivered face-to-face therapy was compared to Panic Online supported by psychologist-delivered email therapy.Methods Sixty-five people with a primary diagnosis of PD (78% of whom also had agoraphobia) completed 12 weeks of therapy using Panic Online and therapeutic assistance with his/her GP (n = 34) or a clinical psychologist (n = 31). The mean duration of PD for participants allocated to these groups was 59 months and 58 months, respectively. Participants completed a clinical diagnostic interview delivered by a psychologist via telephone and questionnaires to assess panic-related symptoms, before and after treatment.Results The total attrition rate was 20%, with no group differences in attrition frequency. Both treatments led to significant improvements in panic attack frequency, depression, anxiety, stress, anxiety sensitivity and quality of life. There were no statistically significant differences in the two treatments on any of these measures, or in the frequency of participants with clinically significant PD at post assessment.Conclusions When provided with accessible online treatment protocols, GPs trained to deliver focused psychological strategies can achieve patient outcomes comparable to efficacious treatments delivered by clinical psychologists. The findings of this research provide a model for how GPs may be assisted to provide evidence-based mental healthcare successfully.Mental Health in Family Medicine 03/2008; 5(1):29-39.
Article: Therapist-assisted, Internet-based treatment for panic disorder: can general practitioners achieve comparable patient outcomes to psychologists?Kerrie Shandley, David William Austin, Britt Klein, Ciaran Pier, Peter Schattner, David Pierce, Victoria Wade[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mental illness is an escalating concern worldwide. The management of disorders such as anxiety and depression largely falls to family doctors or general practitioners (GPs). However, GPs are often too time constrained and may lack the necessary training to adequately manage the needs of such patients. Evidence-based Internet interventions represent a potentially valuable resource to reduce the burden of care and the cost of managing mental health disorders within primary care settings and, at the same time, improve patient outcomes. The present study sought to extend the efficacy of a therapist-assisted Internet treatment program for panic disorder, Panic Online, by determining whether comparable outcomes could be achieved and maintained when Panic Online was supported by either GPs or psychologists. Via a natural groups design, 96 people with a primary diagnosis of panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia) completed the Panic Online program over 12 weeks with the therapeutic assistance of their GP (n = 53), who had received specialist training in cognitive behavioral therapy, or a clinical psychologist (n = 43). Participants completed a clinical diagnostic telephone interview, conducted by a psychologist, and a set of online questionnaires to assess panic-related symptoms at three time periods (pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6 month follow-up). Both treatments led to clinically significant improvements on measures of panic and panic-related symptomatology from pretreatment to posttreatment. Both groups were shown to significantly improve over time. Improvements for both groups were maintained at follow-up; however, the groups did differ significantly on two quality of life domains: physical (F(1,82) = 9.13, P = .00) and environmental (F(1,82) = 4.41, P = .04). The attrition rate was significantly higher among those being treated by their GP (chi(2) (1) = 4.40, P = .02, N = 96). This study provides evidence that Internet-based interventions are an effective adjunct to existing mental health care systems. Consequently, this may facilitate and enhance the delivery of evidence-based mental health treatments to increasingly large segments of the population via primary care systems and through suitably trained health professionals.Journal of Medical Internet Research 02/2008; 10(2):e14. · 4.41 Impact Factor