Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

Integrated Care

Many psychiatrists are involved with psychosomatic/consult psychiatry through the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). The CoCM is an evidence-based integrated care model that applies the principles of effective chronic disease management to treating patients with mental illness. The model has the most evidence among integrated care models, proving its effectiveness in controlling costs, improving access, improving clinical outcomes, and increasing patient satisfaction in a variety of primary care settings—rural, urban, and among veterans.

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APA/APM Report:

Dissemination of Integrated Care Within Adult Primary Care Settings: The Collaborative Care Model

About Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

Consultation-liaison psychiatrists often work in primary care and outpatient specialty clinics (such as diabetes or women's clinics) and have key roles in developing population-based collaborative care models for the over 10 million patients with comorbid chronic illness. Examples of the patients treated include:

  • treatment of delirium tremens in an elderly woman with unsuspected alcohol dependence who just received coronary artery bypass surgery;
  • consultation to an outpatient HIV/AIDS clinic to help manage psychotropic medications for a patient about to begin a new antiretroviral regimen;
  • inpatient consultation to the Oncology Service for a depressed middle-aged man with newly diagnosed, widespread pancreatic cancer.

Consultation-liaison psychiatry provides the opportunity to work more closely with medical and surgical colleagues than is typically the case for most psychiatrists. It is also a great way to make a big difference in the lives of patients with complicated medical or surgical conditions who are suffering emotionally.