Open Access Open Badges Research article

Psychotherapy as a treatment modality for psychiatric disorders: Perceptions of general public of Karachi, Pakistan

Abdul Mueed Zafar*, Ali Jawaid, Hiba Ashraf, Ambreena Fatima, Rubina Anjum and Salah U Qureshi

BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:37  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-37

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Psychotherapy with Primary Health Care and the role of GPs

Aditya Mungee   (2009-08-05 10:01)  KMC Mangalore (MBBS)

In times when Psychiatrists lament the decline of Psychotherapy as part of the identity, skill set, and training of psychiatrists in developed countries [1] it is heartening to see a positive attitude for Psychotherapy in this study conducted among the general public of Karachi.

Only 300 Psychiatrists for a country which is estimated to have a population of 220 million by 2020 [2] implies that a large proportion of the population is dependent on the General Practitioner for Psychiatric health care.The finding that GPs are a close second preference for initial consultation in case of symptoms suggestive of psychiatric disorder in this study goes on to emphasize the need to train GPs in diagnosing and managing common psychiatric disorders.Though previous results of such training programs are disappointing [3], better techniques and different teaching methods need to be developed and incorporated to enable GPs to fill in the massive gap in providing mental health care facilities to the people.

However, to maximize the impact of training GPs in Psychotherapy, it is also necessary to educate the general population [4] about easy access to psychiatric care in a familiar setting of their primary health care provider and removing the associated stigma of seeking help for a psychiatric condition


1. Moran, Mark
Psychiatrists Lament Decline of Key Treatment Modality
Psychiatr News 2009 44: 8-25

2. Ministry of Population Welfare, Govt. of Pakistan

3. Balint M. Training general practitioners in psychotherapy. Br Med J. 1954 Jan 16;1(4854):115–120

4. James S, Chisholm D, Murthy RS, Kumar KK, Sekar K, Saeed K, Mubbashar M: Demand for, access to and use of community mental health care: lessons from a demonstration project in India and Pakistan.
Int J Soc Psychiatry 2002, 48(3):163-176

Competing interests



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