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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Psychological interventions and physical health

Since 2012, we have been developing a programme of work aimed at addressing the training needs of the NHS Scotland workforce in relation to psychological interventions in physical health care.

The objective has been to encourage a stepped care model of delivery; a key part of which has been to deliver train the trainers packages to applied psychologists working in physical health settings, alongside the provision of eLearning modules and training directly to non-psychologists.

A summary of the training to support person-centred care [PDF] is available and more information on training programmes can be found on TURAS Learn.

Related documents

The following documents have been commissioned to address the evidence base for psychosocial interventions in physical health and the competences required to deliver such interventions. These include:

A Competence Framework for Psychological Interventions with People with Persistent Physical Health Problems (2016).

The Matrix (2015) A Guide to Delivering Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies in Scotland; Persistent Physical Symptoms

Please find the evidence tables for persistent physical symptoms.

- The section of the Matrix relating to the psychological management of persistent physical symptoms was updated in 2015. Persistent Physical Symptoms refers to health problems that last a year or longer, impact on a person’s life, and may require ongoing care and support. The definition does not relate to any one condition, care group or age category. Common examples include diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Economic Paper: Psychological Interventions in Physical Health Care: The need and the Economic Case (2015) [PDF]

- The evidence reviewed suggests that psychological problems account for a considerable proportion of the disease burden of both long-term conditions and medically unexplained physical symptoms. The combination of the evidence for positive clinical outcomes and economic benefits of treatment suggest that addressing psychological problems should be a core, and where possible integrated part of the treatment of both Long-term Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms (the entire report is available here). A systematic review further exploring the cost-effectiveness of psychological interventions for physical symptoms is currently underway.

A summary of the work conducted by the NES Psychology Directorate in the area of physical health can be found in the article 'Strengthening the connections: Psychological interventions and physical health' which was published in the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP-S) Review Summer 2016 edition. [PDF]

Contact us

Please contact psychology@nes.scot.nhs.uk with any enquiries.


Last updated: 27/09/2020

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