Although, recently, the biopsychosocial approach has been emphasized in the practice of family medicine, how psychologists and physicians interact in collaborative family health care practice is still emerging in Portugal. This article describes a qualitative study that focused on the understanding of psychologists and family physicians' perceptions of their role and the collaborative approach in health care.
A questionnaire gathered information regarding collaboration, referral, training and the practice of biopsychosocial medicine. A content analysis on respondents' discourse was performed. Results show that both physicians and psychologists agree on the importance of the biopsychosocial model and interdisciplinary collaboration. However, they also mentioned several difficulties that have to do with the lack of psychologists working full time in health care centers, lack of communication and different expectancies regarding each other roles in health care delivery.
Both physicians and psychologists acknowledge the lack of academic training and consider the need for multidisciplinary teams in their training and practice to improve collaboration and integrative care. Implications for future research and for the practice of biopsychosocial medicine are addressed.