Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Family practice residents' learning needs and beliefs about office-based psychological counseling. Fam Med 1995 Jun;27(6):371-5



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0029078365 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   12 Citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Teaching office-based psychological counseling is an essential component of family practice training. Most counseling training has been adapted from other disciplines without adequately identifying residents' learning needs, attitudes, and beliefs about counseling. This study was designed to 1) assess family practice residents' perceived learning needs for counseling, and 2) elicit and clarify their attitudes and beliefs about counseling.

METHODS: Three consecutive groups of residents anonymously recorded their questions about psychological counseling. These questions were presented to the residents in focus groups for elaboration and clarification of underlying attitudes and beliefs. A consensus panel then categorized the learning needs and identified residents' attitudes and beliefs.

RESULTS: Eighty-six distinct learning need questions were identified. These items clustered into four categories: skill development, problem/patient selection, practice management, and role confusion. Focus group findings identified four major themes: the need for limits and boundaries, limited understanding of change and the therapeutic process, doubts about personal readiness, and difficulty with the integration of mind and body.

CONCLUSION: These findings parallel the concerns of physicians in practice and reinforce the need to identify resident concerns about office-based counseling. Failure to identify and respond to learner concerns may limit the effectiveness of teaching efforts in this curricular area.

Author List

Butler DJ, Seidl JJ, Holloway RL, Robertson RG


John J. Seidl MD Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Family Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Attitude of Health Personnel
Family Practice
Internship and Residency