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Facilitating understanding of mental health problems in GP consultations: a qualitative study using taped-assisted recall

Cape, J; Geyer, C; Barker, C; Pistrang, N; Buszewicz, M; Dowrick, C; Salmon, P; (2010) Facilitating understanding of mental health problems in GP consultations: a qualitative study using taped-assisted recall. BRIT J GEN PRACT , 60 (580) 837 - 845. 10.3399/bjgp10X532567.

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Abstract

BackgroundMental health problems are common in primary care and most are managed solely by the GP. Patients strive to understand their mental health problems, and facilitating patients' understanding may be important in their care, yet little is known about this process in GP consultations.AimTo explore how patients' understanding of common mental health problems is developed in GP consultations.Design of studyQualitative study.SettingTen general practices in North Central London.MethodFourteen patients and their GPs were interviewed using the taped-assisted recall (TAR) method, and asked how understanding of the patients' mental health problems had been discussed in a recent consultation. The resulting 42 transcripts of the GP patient consultations and separate GP and patient TAR interviews were analysed using qualitative thematic and process analytic methods.ResultsPatients considered understanding their mental health problems to be important, and half reported their GP consultations as helpful in this respect. The process of coming to an understanding was predominantly patient-led. Patients suggested their own explanations, and these were facilitated and focused by the doctors' questioning, listening, validating, and elaborating aspects they considered important. Both doctors and patients experienced constraints on the extent to which developing understanding of problems was possible in GP consultations.ConclusionGPs can help patients understand their mental health problems by recognising patients' own attempts at explanation and helping to shape and develop these.

Type: Article
Title: Facilitating understanding of mental health problems in GP consultations: a qualitative study using taped-assisted recall
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp10X532567
Keywords: doctor-patient relations, mental health, primary care, qualitative research, PRACTITIONER PSYCHOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT, MEDICALLY UNEXPLAINED SYMPTOMS, EMOTIONAL-PROBLEMS, GENERAL-PRACTICE, PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS, PRIMARY-CARE, DEPRESSION, ILLNESS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/172098
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