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A controlled trial study which examined the clinical effectiveness of a stress self-help package administered by general practitioners to patients presenting with psychological problems which were potentially stress-related is described. Patients were randomly allocated to one of two groups: existing general practitioner treatment with or without the use of the package. Significant advantages were found for patients who received the package compared with controls in both their level of symptoms at three-month follow-up and their rate of consulting for psychological problems in the three-month post-treatment period compared with the three-month pre-treatment period. The potential use of such packages in the treatment of psychological problems in primary care is discussed.