A qualitative study exploring how GPs decide to prescribe antidepressants.
ABSTRACT To influence GPs' prescribing policies and practices it is necessary to have an understanding of how they make decisions. The limited evidence available suggests that not only do GPs find making decisions about diagnosing and prescribing for depression problematic, but that decisions are severely constrained by lack of resources. As a result, it might be thought that GPs, in line with current guidelines, will inevitably prescribe antidepressants for patients presenting with symptoms of anxiety and depression. This study examines the accuracy of this view.
To explore how GPs decide to prescribe antidepressants.
Focus groups with self-selected GPs.
Bristol and the surrounding district.
Qualitative study of five focus groups with 27 GPs.
GPs' decisions about whether an antidepressant would be an appropriate form of management are shaped by a set of rules based on 'clinical' and 'social' criteria. The preferred strategy is to 'wait and see', but antidepressants are prescribed earlier when symptoms are perceived to be persistent, unresolving, severe and 'classic'. Decisions to prescribe are also shaped by organisational constraints of time, lack of accessible alternative management options, cost of prescribing and perceived patient attitude.
The evidence from this study provides little support for the view that GPs take the easy option of prescribing antidepressants in the face of uncertainty. Evidence suggests that the GPs' prescribing was cautious, which indicates that GPs would support the initiative of recent draft guidelines regarding watchful waiting. This guidance, however, needs to be clear about what constitutes mild depression and address the question of prescribing to patients who are experiencing social adversity. Furthermore, alternatives to antidepressants such as counselling would need to be readily and equitably accessible. In addition, GPs need to be convinced that alternatives to antidepressants are at least as effective for patients with so-called 'mild depression'.
SourceAvailable from: Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Dataset: Phisician Assisted Euthanasia
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ABSTRACT: Time pressure is common in acute healthcare and significantly influences clinical judgement and decision making. Despite nurses' judgements being studied since the 1960s, the empirical picture of how time pressure impacts on nurses' judgement strategies and outcomes remain undeveloped. This paper aims to assess alterations in nurses' judgement strategies and outcomes under time pressure in a simulated acute care setting.BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 11/2014; 14(1):96. DOI:10.1186/1472-6947-14-96 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Psychotropic drug prescribing is problematic and knowledge of factors affecting the initiation and maintenance of such prescribing is incomplete. Such knowledge could provide a basis for the design of interventions to change prescribing patterns for psychotropics. The aim of this study was to explore the views of general practitioners (GPs), GP interns, and heads of primary care units on factors affecting the prescribing of psychotropic drugs in primary care. We performed four focus group discussions in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a total of 21 participants (GPs, GP interns, and heads of primary care units). The focus group discussions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using manifest content analysis. Three different themes emerged from the focus group discussions. The first theme Seeking care for symptoms, reflects the participants' understanding of why patients approach primary care and comprised categories such as knowledge, attitudes, and society and the media. The second theme, Lacking a framework, resources, and treatment alternatives, which reflects the conditions for the physician-patient interaction, comprised categories such as economy and resources, technology, and organizational aspects. The third theme, Restricting or maintaining prescriptions, with the subthemes Individual factors and External influences, reflects the physicians' internal decision making and comprised categories such as emotions, knowledge, and pharmaceutical industry. The results of the present study indicate that a variety of factors may affect the prescribing of psychotropic medications in primary care. Many factors were related to characteristics of the patient, the physician or their interaction, rather than the patients' medical needs per se. The results may be useful for interventions to improve psychotropic prescribing in primary care.BMC Family Practice 08/2013; 14(1):115. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-115 · 1.74 Impact Factor