Barriers, facilitators, and survival strategies for GPs seeking treatment for distress: a qualitative study
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Colleges, School and Institutes
- University College London
- Keele University
- Riverside Medical Centre
- College of Medicine
- University of Bristol
BACKGROUND: GPs are under increasing pressure due to a lack of resources, a diminishing workforce, and rising patient demand. As a result, they may feel stressed, burnt out, anxious, or depressed.
AIM: To establish what might help or hinder GPs experiencing mental distress as they consider seeking help for their symptoms, and to explore potential survival strategies.
DESIGN AND SETTING: The authors recruited 47 GP participants via e-mails to doctors attending a specialist service, adverts to local medical committees (LMCs) nationally and in GP publications, social media, and snowballing. Participants self-identified as either currently living with mental distress, returning to work following treatment, off sick or retired early as a result of mental distress, or without experience of mental distress. Interviews were conducted face to face or over the telephone.
METHOD: Transcripts were uploaded to NVivo 11 and analysed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Barriers and facilitators were related to work, stigma, and symptoms. Specifically, GPs discussed feeling a need to attend work, the stigma surrounding mental ill health, and issues around time, confidentiality, and privacy. Participants also reported difficulties accessing good-quality treatment. GPs also talked about cutting down or varying work content, or asserting boundaries to protect themselves.
CONCLUSION: Systemic changes, such as further information about specialist services designed to help GPs, are needed to support individual GPs and protect the profession from further damage.
|Journal||British Journal of General Practice|
|Early online date||29 Sep 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2017|
- mental health services, selfcare, anxiety, burnout, professional, depression, general practice