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What can alert the general practitioner to people whose common mental health problems are unrecognised?

Kay A Wilhelm
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (4): 221.
Published online: 16 February 2009

In reply: I must apologise for the inclusion of a comma in the first sentence of the conclusion in our article’s abstract, which changes the sense of the sentence.1 That was my oversight. It should read “Low rates of recognition of psychological problems by GPs [general practitioners] and infrequent treatment for those presenting with somatic symptoms ...”, meaning that there are low rates of recognition and treatment in patients with somatic symptoms rather than in patients overall. We were reflecting the need for more recognition of how to deal with depression and anxiety in the presence of somatisation. We think the 12-item Somatic and Psychological HEalth REport (SPHERE-12) is a useful instrument, but that it has an intentionally low “caseness” threshold and needs to have some other tool to increase clinical relevance.

  • Kay A Wilhelm

  • Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


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