Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 690-696

An impact of a digitally driven primary care psychiatry program on the integration of psychiatric care in the general practice of primary care doctors

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Tele Medicine Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare, National Health Mission, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Narayana Manjunatha
Department of Psychiatry, Tele Medicine Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_324_20

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Introduction: The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among the general population is 10.6%. Primary care doctors (PCDs) are often the first contact for patients with common psychiatric disorders, but the majority of them are ill equipped to handle the same leading to symptomatic treatment. Hence, an innovative digitally driven and modular-based 1-year primary care psychiatry program (PCPP) was designed and implemented exclusively for practicing PCDs of Uttarakhand. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of this digitally driven 1-year PCPP on the general practice of PCDs. Materials and Methods: Ten PCDs were trained in the curriculum module “Clinical Schedule for Primary Care Psychiatry” which is a validated concise guideline for screening, classification, diagnosis, treatment, follow–ups, and referrals. Furthermore, they underwent training in on-site basic module (10 days); three online modules (with nil or minimal disruption in their regular clinical work) – Telepsychiatric On-Consultation Training (Tele-OCT), Collaborative Video Consultations, and weekly virtual classroom; and one public health module. In addition, PCDs underwent 10 criteria-based formative assessment including self-reports of weekly patients' audit (Primary Care Psychiatry Quotient [PCPQ]) and quarterly Tele-OCT evaluation sessions (Translational Quotient [TQ]). Results: PCPQ was 11.09% (2182 psychiatric patients of total 19,670 general outpatients) which means 11.09% of PCDs' total general consultations had psychiatric disorders, which would have been otherwise missed. Average scores obtained in first and second Tele-OCT evaluations (similar to clinical examination but in their real-time consultation) were 70.33% and 76.33%, respectively, suggestive of adequate TQ at 6 and 9 months of the course. Conclusions: One-year PCPP is shown to be effective in acquiring psychiatry knowledge, skills, and retention of skills (TQ) and also translated in providing psychiatric care in general practice with a positive impact on the delivery of primary care psychiatry.



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