Intellectual disability and mental health problems: a qualitative study of general practitioners' views
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFredheim, T., Haavet, O.R., Danbolt, L.J., Kjønsberg, K., Lien, L. (2013). Intellectual disability and mental health problems: a qualitative study of general practitioners' views. BMJ Open 3(e002283). doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002283. 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002283
Objectives: To investigate general practitioners’ (GPs) experiences in managing patients with intellectual disabilities (ID) and mental and behavioural problems (MBP). Design: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews. Setting: General practice in Hedmark county, Norway. Participants: 10 GPs were qualitatively interviewed about their professional experience regarding patients with ID and MBP. Data were analysed by all authors using systematic text condensation. Results: The participants’ knowledge was primarily experience-based and collaboration with specialists seemed to be individual rather than systemic. The GPs provided divergent attitudes to referral, treatment, collaboration, regular health checks and home visits. Conclusions: GPs are in a position to provide evidence-based and individual treatment for both psychological and somatic problems among patients with ID. However, they do not appear to be making use of evidence-based treatment decisions. The GPs feel that they are left alone in decision-making, and find it difficult to find trustworthy collaborative partners. The findings in this study provide useful information for further research in the field.
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