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Type: Journal article
Title: An investigation of psychology staffing in Australian metropolitan acute public hospitals
Author: Small, E.
Burke, A.
Collins, K.
Citation: Australian Psychologist, 2015; 50(1):86-94
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0005-0067
Statement of
Emily M Small, Anne L J Burke, and Kathryn L Collins
Abstract: Psychology is one component of the multidisciplinary services provided to patients in acute public hospitals, with research demonstrating that psychological intervention significantly enhances clinical outcomes for patients across a range of health issues. Despite the increasingly important role that psychologists play in Australian hospitals, there remains a lack of information available about staff levels, discipline structures, and clinical activity for psychological services within acute hospital settings. The most recent Australian data about hospital-based psychology services was collected 20 years ago. The current study provides updated information from a survey of 15 Australian metropolitan, acute public hospitals: presenting and critically reviewing staffing configurations and models of service delivery. Results suggest that: (a) hospitals employ a highly skilled workforce at a rate of 0.16 full-time equivalent psychology staff for every 10 hospital beds; (b) psychologists have a viable career pathway within the hospital-based health sector; (c) role diversity is common, with the primary focus varying as a function of position level; (d) neuropsychology staffing requires urgent attention to address significant delays in access to services; and (e) public hospitals actively contribute to current and future workforce development through supervision, research, and training. The implications of these results for the future of psychological services in Australian healthcare are discussed.
Keywords: Australian health care; psychological services; psychologists; psychology staffing levels; public hospitals
Rights: © 2015 The Australian Psychological Society
RMID: 0030021092
DOI: 10.1111/ap.12101
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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