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Perspective ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00731

The role of clinical psychology and peer to peer support in the management of chronic medical conditions – a practical example with adults with congenital heart disease

  • 1Clinical Psychology Service, Policlinico San Donato (IRCCS), Italy
  • 2Applied Research Division for Cognitive and Psychological Science, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia s.r.l., Italy
  • 3Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

Clinical psychology services and peer to peer support can both contribute in increasing the psychological wellbeing of patients with chronic medical conditions. In this perspective paper, indications are given about the provision these services for the specific case of adults with congenital heart disease. These patients are at an increased risk of psychological distress, neurocognitive deficits and social challenges. The psychosocial characteristics and mental health treatment preferences of these patients are briefly described, followed by guidelines and indications for the implementation of clinical psychology services. The mental health treatment preferences of this group when it comes to psychosocial service are illustrated, followed by a description of Tthe most structured peer to peer program available for this population is subsequently illustrated and for this population. Indications are given for the provision of clinical psychology services and peer to peer support, with reference also to specific psychosocial interventions linked to particular types of distress and problems.finally, specific benefits and challenges when it comes to the integration of both services are reported.

Keywords: clinical psychology, Peer to peer support, nonprofit patient associations, congenital heart disease, chronic illnesses, Psychosocial Interventions

Received: 05 Jul 2017; Accepted: 26 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Changiz Mohiyeddini, Northeastern University, United States

Reviewed by:

Liza Morton, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Katharine S. Edwards, Stanford University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Callus and Pravettoni. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Edward Callus, Policlinico San Donato (IRCCS), Clinical Psychology Service, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Research and University Hospital, Via Morandi, 30, San Donato Milanese, 20097, Italy,