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Teaching Basic Clinical Health Psychology Interventions at a Sri Lankan Medical School

Author:

Piyanjali de Zoysa

University of Colombo, LK
About Piyanjali
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

There is an overlap between the fields of medicine and psychology. Doctors are involved in health conditions that require training in basic psychological interventions. For instance, as the frequency and magnitude of natural and man-made disasters increase, doctors need to provide medical and psychological care of survivors. Then, there is the situation of lifestyle diseases such as cancer and diabetes. These diseases and their complex treatments have an enormous psychosocial impact on the patient and family over many years. Prevention and management of these entail behavioural changes and adherence to complicated medical regimens. Doctors with knowledge in psychological interventions can make valuable contributions in the care of such patients. Furthermore, it is known that psychological treatment of mental illnesses such as phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders show good prognosis. If doctors are trained in basic psychological interventions for these conditions, it may reduce the necessity to refer such patients to a psychology service, which is scarce in Sri Lanka. In this context, the author developed a teaching programme on basic clinical health psychological interventions for medical students as part of their professorial programme in psychological medicine. The six sessions are: (1) tenets of liaison health psychology, (2) psychological work with disabilities, (3) psychological work in grief reactions, (4) life style change through psychological interventions, (5) behaviour therapy for phobia, and (6) behaviour therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder. The teaching, done via role plays, is built upon knowledge on basic psychology that students obtain during the initial years in the medical curriculum.
How to Cite: de Zoysa, P., 2011. Teaching Basic Clinical Health Psychology Interventions at a Sri Lankan Medical School. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 5(1), pp.42–43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/seajme.v5i1.415
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Published on 30 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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