UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

"You kind of want to fix it don't you?" Exploring general practice trainees' experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms

Howman, M; Walters, K; Rosenthal, J; Ajjawi, R; Buszewicz, M; (2016) "You kind of want to fix it don't you?" Exploring general practice trainees' experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms. BMC Medical Education , 16 (1) , Article 27. 10.1186/s12909-015-0523-y. Green open access

[thumbnail of "You kind of want to fix it don't you?" Exploring general practice trainees' experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms.pdf]
Preview
Text
"You kind of want to fix it don't you?" Exploring general practice trainees' experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms.pdf - Published Version

Download (504kB) | Preview

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Much of a General Practitioner's (GP) workload consists of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). GP trainees are often taking responsibility for looking after people with MUS for the first time and so are well placed to reflect on this and the preparation they have had for it; their views have not been documented in detail in the literature. This study aimed to explore GP trainees' clinical and educational experiences of managing people presenting with MUS. METHOD: A mixed methods approach was adopted. All trainees from four London GP vocational training schemes were invited to take part in a questionnaire and in-depth semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire explored educational and clinical experiences and attitudes towards MUS using Likert scales and free text responses. The interviews explored the origins of these views and experiences in more detail and documented ideas about optimising training about MUS. Interviews were analysed using the framework analysis approach. RESULTS: Eighty questionnaires out of 120 (67 %) were returned and a purposive sample of 15 trainees interviewed. Results suggested most trainees struggled to manage the uncertainty inherent in MUS consultations, feeling they often over-investigated or referred for their own reassurance. They described difficulty in broaching possible psychological aspects and/or providing appropriate explanations to patients for their symptoms. They thought that more preparation was needed throughout their training. Some had more positive experiences and found such consultations rewarding, usually after several consultations and developing a relationship with the patient. CONCLUSION: Managing MUS is a common problem for GP trainees and results in a disproportionate amount of anxiety, frustration and uncertainty. Their training needs to better reflect their clinical experience to prepare them for managing such scenarios, which should also improve patient care.

Type: Article
Title: "You kind of want to fix it don't you?" Exploring general practice trainees' experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0523-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12909-015-0523-y
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Howman et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Medically unexplained symptoms; Somatisation; Medical Education; General practice; Mixed methods research
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475007
Downloads since deposit
51Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item