Drugs Shrinking Psychiatrists' Talk Time: Study

Cost-conscious managed care also seen behind decline
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 8:15 PM CDT
Drugs Shrinking Psychiatrists' Talk Time: Study
The proportion of visits to psychiatrists' offices that included psychotherapy dropped from 44.4% in 1996-1997 to 28.9% in 2004-2005, a study finds.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Psychiatry is increasingly focused on prescribing drugs and less on psychotherapy, a study published in the Archives of General Psychology finds. A reluctance by insurance firms to pay for therapy is one factor, HealthDay reports, along with the wide variety of drugs now available to treat various conditions.

"I was trained almost 30 years ago and received a lot of training in psychotherapy," said a dean at Texas A&M's Medical School. "Thanks to the advances of managed care, psychotherapy was basically devalued from the perspective of psychiatry. All that we were supposed to do was diagnose and consult for pharmacotherapy." (Read more mental health stories.)

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