Psychogastroenterology: a call for psychological input in Australian gastroenterology clinics
Gastroenterologists should be able to refer patients directly to psychologists with full Medicare reimbursement. Psychological comorbidities are frequently seen in patients with gastrointestinal conditions. However, time pressure and lack of expertise in non-medical therapies of psychological problems prevent gastroenterologists from initiating psychological treatment although such treatment may improve patients’ outcomes and reduce health-care utilization. Psychologists are needed as part of the multidisciplinary team in gastroenterology clinics in Australia to take the leading role in the psychological management of those patients by contributing to screening, faster diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in particular.