To investigate whether a course of psychotherapy with a psychologist affected the frequency of patients' visits to their family doctors.
Retrospective analysis of patients' medical records to determine the frequency of visits to their family doctors in the 6 months before psychotherapy, during therapy, and in the 6 months after therapy.
A teaching family medical centre in London, Ont.
Thirty-three patients who had completed a course of psychotherapy between 1984 and 1991.
Psychotherapy was provided by two psychologists employed at the medical centre. Patients did not pay a direct fee. The median length of psychotherapy was 12.5 1-hour sessions, and the therapeutic approach was eclectic and humanistic.
Frequency of visits to family physicians before, during, and after psychotherapy.
Frequency of visits to family doctors decreased both during and after psychotherapy. The decrease was especially apparent from before therapy to after therapy (49%, P