Psychologist Prescribing Survey: 2011

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A short online survey at collected opinions regarding psychologist prescribing from March 16, 2011 through July 7, 2011.

Sample Description

Responses were accepted from individuals age 18 and up. The final sample included 100 responses.

Age: Range 18-65, Mean = 37.8 years, s = 12.6 years.
Education: 92% College graduates; 34% Doctorates.
Gender: 46% Male, 54% Female.

Opinions about Psychologist Prescribing

1) Should psychologists prescribe medications for behavioral and emotional conditions? Nearly half of the respondents (48%) answered “Yes,” indicating that psychologists should prescribe. Nearly two-thirds (63%) answered “Yes” or “Maybe.”

2) Compared to the current state of affairs, with 80% of psychotropic medications prescribed by non-psychiatric physicians, prescribing psychologists would provide [a lower, higher, or the same level of mental health care]: Most respondents believe that prescribing psychologists would provide a higher level of mental health care; 74% believe that the level of care would be at least as good as the current state of affairs.

3) How much additional education should psychologists have to prescribe, beyond their PhD and internship? Most respondents, 57%, indicated that the level of additional training currently required of prescribing psychologists is the appropriate level, but 26% indicated that psychologists who want to prescribe should complete medical school.

Factors Related to Opinions about Psychologist Prescribing

Gender and education were unrelated to opinions about psychologist prescribing. Younger participants tended to feel more favorable toward prescribing:

Respondent occupation also affected opinions about psychologist prescribing. As might be expected, psychologists felt most favorably toward prescribing by their profession, with 76% percent indicating agreement with the proposition. A majority of mental health professionals without doctorates also favored psychologist prescribing. Agreement was less prevalent among other doctoral level providers (40% of doctoral health providers; 33% of doctoral mental health providers) and among those not involved in health care (41%). Non-doctoral health care providers (i.e., nurses and medical assistants) were the least favorable, with five “Noes” and only one “Maybe” among the six responding