Primary care physicians' discussion of emotional distress and patient satisfaction.
ABSTRACT To assess: a) the prevalence and determinants of self-reported emotional distress in the Israeli population; b) the rate of self-reported discussion of emotional distress with family physicians; and c) the association between such discussions and patient satisfaction with care.
Design: Retrospective, cross-sectional survey that was conducted through structured telephone interviews in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. This study was part of a larger study assessing patients' perceptions of the quality of health services. Participants: A representative sample of 1,849 Israeli citizens aged 22 to 93 (response rate: 84%). Independent variables: Gender, age, ethnicity (spoken language), education, income, self-reported chronic disease, self-reported episode(s) of emotional distress during the last year, and having discussed emotional distress with the family physician. Outcome measure: satisfaction with care.
28.4% reported emotional distress and 12.5% reported discussion of emotional distress with a primary care physician in the past year. Logistic regression identified female gender, Arab ethnicity, low income, and chronic illness as independent correlates of emotional distress. These as well as Russian speakers and having experienced emotional distress during the past year were identified as independent correlates of discussion of emotional distress with the family physician. Patients who reported discussion of emotional distress with their family physician were significantly more satisfied with care.
Encouraging physicians to detect and discuss emotional distress with their patients may increase patient satisfaction with care, and possibly also improve patients' well-being and reduce health care costs.
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing emphasis on distress and mild depression but uncertainty regarding how well general practitioners (GPs) identify these conditions. Further, the proportion of attendees suffering distress is also unclear. To quantify the rate of distress in primary care and to clarify the ability of GPs to identify distressed and/or mildly depressed individuals using their clinical skills. Meta-analysis of clinical recognition of distress and mild depression defined on a continuum (severity scale) or categorically (semi-structured interview). From 157 studies that examined the ability of GPs to diagnose any emotional or mental disorder, we identified 23 that focused on defined distress and 9 that reported on mild depression. The prevalence of broadly defined distress was 37.4% (n=23, 95% CI=29.5% to 45.5) although it was 47.3% (n=14, 95% CI=38.0% to 56.7%) using self-report methods. GPs correctly identified distressed individuals in 48.4% (n=21, 95% CI=42.6% to 54.2%) of presentations and identified non-distressed people in 79.4% (n=21, 95% CI=74.3% to 84.1%) of presentations without distress. GPs correctly identified 33.8% (95% CI=27.3% to 40.7%) of people with mild depression and had a detection specificity of 80.6% (95% CI=66.4% to 91.6%) for the non-depressed. Clinicians' ability to recognize mild depression was significantly lower than their ability to recognize moderate-severe depression. Out of 100 consecutive presentations, a typical GP making a single assessment would correctly identify 19 out of 39 people with distress, missing 20. He or she would correctly re-assure 48 out of 61 people without distress, falsely label 13 people as distressed. For mild depression, out of 100 consecutive presentations, a typical GP would correctly identify 4 out of 11 people with mild depression, missing 7. GPs would correctly re-assure 72 out of 89 people without distress, falsely diagnosing 19. Clinicians have considerable difficulty accurately identifying distress and mild depression in primary care with only one in three people correctly diagnosed. Clinicians are better able to identify distress than mild depression but success remains limited. However not all such individuals want professional help, and some people who are overlooked get help elsewhere, or improve spontaneously, therefore the implications of these detection problems are not yet clear.Journal of affective disorders 04/2011; 130(1-2):26-36. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Psychosocial problems in cancer patients are often unrecognized and untreated due to the low awareness of the existence of these problems or pressures of time. The awareness of the need to identify psychosocial problems in cancer patients is growing and has affected the development of screening instruments. This study explored the usefulness and feasibility of using a screening instrument (SIPP: Screening Inventory of Psychosocial Problems) to identify psychosocial problems in cancer patients receiving curative radiotherapy treatment (RT). The study was conducted in a radiation oncology department in The Netherlands. Several methods were used to document the usefulness and feasibility of the SIPP. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires completed by seven radiotherapists and 268 cancer patients. Regarding the screening procedure 33 patients were offered to consult a psychosocial care provider (e.g. social worker, psychologist) during the first consultation with their radiotherapist. Of these patients, 31 patients suffered from at least sub-clinical symptoms and two patients hardly suffered from any symptoms. Patients' acceptance rate 63.6% (21/33) was high. Patients were positive about the content of the SIPP (mean scores vary from 8.00 to 8.88, out of a range between 0 and 10) and about the importance of discussing items of the SIPP with their radiotherapist (mean score = 7.42). Radiotherapists' perspectives about the contribution of the SIPP to discuss the different psychosocial problems were mixed (mean scores varied from 3.17 to 4.67). Patients were more positive about discussing items of the SIPP if the radiotherapists had positive attitudes towards screening and discussing psychosocial problems. The screening procedure appeared to be feasible in a radiotherapy department. In general, patients' perspectives were at least moderate. Radiotherapists considered the usefulness and feasibility of the SIPP generally to be lower, but their evaluations were mixed. A positive attitude to using screening instruments like the SIPP needs to be encouraged among radiotherapists, as this may not only improve the usefulness of a screening instrument, but also patients' satisfaction with care. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00859768.BMC Cancer 11/2011; 11:479. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pain is prevalent in clinical settings, and yet it is relatively under-represented in the education of most students in the health professions. Because pain includes both sensory-discriminative and affective features, teaching students about pain presents unique challenges and opportunities. The present article describes the evolution of a new blueprint for clinical excellence that, among other competencies, incorporates a need for the emotional development of clinical trainees. The framework has been applied to the development and implementation of two new courses in pain. The first course is designed to provide a comprehensive foundation of medical knowledge regarding pain, while integratively introducing students to the affective dimensions of pain. The second course is designed to enhance students' appreciation for the protean effects of pain through use of the humanities to represent medical experience. It is concluded that, to be most effective, fostering the emotional development of trainees in the health professions necessitates the incorporation of affect-focused learning objectives, educational tasks, and assessment methods.Pain research & management: the journal of the Canadian Pain Society = journal de la societe canadienne pour le traitement de la douleur 01/2011; 16(6):421-6. · 1.04 Impact Factor