How Receptive Are Primary Care Physicians to Self Administered Treatment

Much less is known about the views concerning self-administered treatment among primary care physicians. Richards, Lovell, and McEvoy (2003) acknowledge that the general practitioner is often faced with limited remuneration or incentive for supporting self-help mental health care. Short consultations arising from pharmacological treatment are more economically rewarding. Pragmatically, primary care physicians are pressed for time, with the average primary care consultation being 15 minutes (Taylor, Jobson, Winzelberg, & Abascal, 2002). Primary care practices are often limited in physical space and support staff. There is an understandable lack of awareness and training about empirically supported self-administered treatments.

In order to consider provider opinions and concerns related to self-administered treatment in primary care, we conducted a focus group with five primary care physicians in a suburban practice in Winnipeg, Canada, a medium-sized city. The participants were 3 females and 2 males with from 2 to 15 years of practice who were graduates of Canadian or international medical schools. The focus group was one-hour in length and conducted by the third author (AK). Five questions were posed to the group, focusing on experiences with self-help, effectiveness of self-administered treatment, selection of self-help materials, use of Web sites, and barriers to the use of self-help in primary care. (See Table 16.2 for a summary of responses.) Analysis of the focus group transcript suggested that the participants were very supportive of self-administered treatments and viewed recommendations regarding self-help materials to be part of the physician-educator role. Brochures and other brief print materials were the most widely used resources and physicians indicated that they had limited knowledge of self-help resources. They recommended the development of a Website that centralized self-help resources for the purpose of increasing awareness of self-help materials. The group identified a number of barriers to the use of self-administered treatments described in Table 16.2. They also expressed concern about the quality of some of the information available on the Internet.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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