Allied Health Services
Department of Clinical Psychology
Department of Clinical Psychology
The Department of Clinical Psychology (DCP) in Kwong Wah Hospital KWH established in 1996, offers assessment, treatment and rehabilitation psychological services mainly to inpatients at the outset. Clinical intervention for patients and their relatives as caregivers targets at alleviating psychological hindrances and stresses resulted from medical illnesses or injuries, facilitating recuperation and restoring to a satisfactory level of adaptability in their daily lives. This ultimately enhances the service recipients’ physical and psychosocial well-being in tandem with their quality of life.
In 2002, the DCP extended clinical service to cover inpatients of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital (TWGHs WTSH). The outpatient service at KWH and palliative care service at TWHGs WTSH were introduced in 2008 with an increase of only one clinical psychologist (CP) to two. There has been further increase of CPs up to three and a half in 2013, providing comprehensive psychological services for both KWH an acute general medical hospital and TWGHs WTSH as a rehabilitation & convalescent hospital, respectively.
(1) Psychological Assessment and Diagnostic Investigation
Assessment and investigation on service users’ psychological conditions regarding cognition, emotion, behavior, developmental growth, personality, intelligence, and neuropsychological functions are conducted though multi-dimensional means, such as in-depth interviews, systematic behavioral observations and standardized psychological tests.
Psychological assessment and diagnostic investigation, including emotional, behavioral, developmental and intellectual aspects, for children and youth are significant components of clinical service in a medical setting.
To evaluate the possible impacts of operation on patients’ neuropsychological functions, clinical psychologist works with medical staff from Department of Radiology and Department of Neurosurgery to conduct the “Intracarotid Amobarbital Procedure”, with the aim at making comparisons of left vs. right hemisphere language and memory functioning of patients with epilepsy prior to brain surgery.
While performing “functional magnetic resonance imaging”, clinical psychologist and medical staff from the Department of Radiology are administering tests to explore the neural correlates of speech and memory functions of a patient with brain tumor.
(2) Psychological intervention and treatment
The aim of psychological intervention and treatment is to facilitate service users’ strengths and resilience to handle a variety of emotional distresses & psychological problems, enhance their problem-solving ability, prevent exacerbation of problems as well as rebuild a healthy lifestyle. Interventional measures, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral modification, mindfulness based psychological intervention, interpersonal psychotherapy, biofeedback therapy, crisis intervention, stress management, play therapy and grief counselling etc., may be employed.
With the use of electronic devices for monitoring, clinical applications of biofeedback could help psychological service users train self-regulation of their breathing, heartrate, body temperature and muscle tension etc. so as to achieve relaxation, emotional harmony and a desired state of healthy mind and body.
Doctors in KWH and TWGHs WTSH can refer inpatients and/or outpatients and their families to receive clinical psychological service. Depending on the needs of service users, psychological treatment and therapy can be provided in individual, family or group formats.
(3) Education and Promotion on Mental Health
Educational seminars and groups are provided to service users and their families on topics of psychological understanding and management for illness, stress and emotional problems. There are also participation and collaboration with non-governmental organizations in educational activities for mental health promotion.
Clinical psychologist was giving an educational talk organized by KWH and Yau Tsim Mong Federation of Association on cardiac issue related psychological health.
(4) Professional Training
As a pre-employment training in the profession, there are internship placements provided to postgraduate students in clinical psychology from local or overseas universities each year. In addition, training courses are designed and provided to frontline healthcare workers. The training courses equip them with counseling skills and knowledge of providing psychological care to patients.
(5) Research and Service Development
Medically related research in psychology is conducted, aiming to understand the behavioral and mental state of patients and their families, so as to enhance the service efficacy of patient care. The work to ensure the service quality includes setting up the clinical work protocols of psychological service provided to patients in different specialties etc.
Service Vision and Commitment
Just over the past 15 years, there has been increasing demand for a wide range of psychological services in KWH and TWGHs WTSH. To tackle the growing complexity of the problems faced by service users, it is hoped that there will be manpower increase of clinical psychologists for sustainable service provision, so that the people in need could receive timely psychological intervention as earlier as possible. Clinical psychologists in the two hospitals will uphold the prime principles of psychology – to provide “person-centered” and “evidence-based” service, and commit to working with different clinical specialties, keeping abreast with modern developments and continue to provide holistic and comprehensive service to the needy.