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How do general practitioners manage subjects with early schizophrenia and collaborate with mental health professionals? A postal survey in South-Western France



How do general practitioners manage subjects with early schizophrenia and collaborate with mental health professionals? A postal survey in South-Western France



Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 40(11): 892-898



This study was conducted to explore how general practitioners (GPs) manage subjects with early psychosis and collaborate with psychiatrists in the care of such patients. Survey questionnaires exploring practice in patients with early psychosis were mailed to all GPs in South-Western France (n=3,829). The response rate was 23.6%. Half of GPs responding to the survey had actually diagnosed a possible case of schizophrenia during the previous year. In such cases, the most frequent decision was to refer the patient to a psychiatrist, despite the difficulties of convincing the patient and obtaining a rapid referral. According to GPs' answers, the relationships between primary care and the mental health team were characterised by a lack of communication: less than one out of three GPs had regular contact with a mental health team, and a large majority reported that they never or rarely had information about the diagnosis and treatment of subjects referred for early schizophrenia. Having regular contacts with mental health services had a major impact on GPs' management of subjects with early schizophrenia, in particular on reducing delays to obtain a psychiatric consultation and on level of information on diagnosis and treatment after referral. Promotion of networking between primary care and mental health services is required to reduce delayed access to care in subjects with early schizophrenia.

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Accession: 049245364

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16205851

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-005-0975-1


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