Outpatient Psychotherapy “Not Keeping Pace” With Increasing Use of Psychotropics

Although the overall use of outpatient psychotherapy by the general population remained stable between the years 1998 and 2007, the levels decreased by more than 5% for those using outpatient mental care facilities, according to a new national trends survey.

In addition, use of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication together also decreased by almost 8% in this setting, whereas treatment with psychotropic medication alone increased by more than 13%.

“We found that for an increasing number of Americans, mental healthcare involves medications but not psychotherapy, and this trend is evident especially for depression and for bipolar, anxiety, and child disorders,” Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City, told Medscape Medical News.

“The absolute proportion of the population that is receiving psychotherapy is really very little changed over the last 10 or even 20 years. But it’s contributing a smaller proportion of overall mental healthcare because it’s not keeping pace with the big growth in the use of psychotropic medications,” added Dr. Olfson…..

Reported by Deborah Brauser
Medscape Medical News

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