Aim: to obtain information regarding general practitioners' perception of their practice in mental health care, opinions, difficulties and educational needs. Methods: all general practitioners attending the last annual session of continuing medical education (October-December 2000) were asked to complete the questionnaire regarding: 1) perception of current practice in mental health care and difficulties in managing mental health problems; 2) opinions regarding their practice; 3) educational needs and perception of benefit from strategies to improve mental health care. Results: 254 general practitioners completed the questionnaire (response rate 70%). 81.4% recognize their role in mental health care and 89.9% report they should develop the necessary skills to deal with mental health problems, perceived as difficult to treat in general practice (77.3%). Educational priorities concern mainly anxiety, depression and somatization; further competences and skills are mainly necessary in doctor-patient communication and psychopharmacological treatment. Main difficulties concern the involvement degree with the specialists (44%) and the time patients need during the consultations (40.4%). Information about local mental health services, supervision and discussion with specialists and continuing medical education are considered useful to improve mental health care. Conclusions: as regard their role in mental health care, general practitioners perceive a lack of knowledge and skills. Relationship with specialists and mental health services, daily practice characteristics and time necessary to deal with patients represent barriers detracting from optimal mental health care in general practice.
|Translated title of the contribution||Mental health training care and educational needs in general practice|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Recenti Progressi in Medicina|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2002|
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