Patients with Non-specific Somatoform Disorders in Primary Care Practice

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0176-0181

Eine qualitative Befragung von betreuenden Hausärzten

german translation / full article

Susanne Döpfmer, Christian Heintze

Keywords: Somatoform Disorders Family Practitioner Management

A Qualitative Survey among Family Practitioners

Background: In primary care patients with somatoform disorders pose a special challenge for their family practitioners in diagnosis, therapy and general management. There is still a lack of information on the subjective handling of these patients by their family physicians. This study aimed to explore the experience of family practitioners with patients with somatoform disorders in a qualitative way.

Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 18 Berlin family practitioners according to a semi-structured interview guideline designed a priori. Interviews were analysed by qualitative content analysis (Mayring).

Results: The survey delineates the diversity of selected therapeutic approaches by family practitioners, ranging from conversation offerings of psychosomatic primary care to descriptions on the use of placebos. Participants were mostly not aware of the new S3 guideline on non-specific, functional, and somatoform bodily complaints. The cooperation with specialists and psychologists usually is described as difficult or even nonexistent. As a cause the respondents mention especially the long latency for an appointment and the lack of direct exchange.

Conclusions: Some family practitioners in this study regarded a direct and easy access (e.g. via telephone) to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist as desirable. This low-threshold option to discuss specific cases could serve to reduce the need for referrals and inpatient admissions. This issue needs further scientific evaluation.

(State: 15.04.2016)

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