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Table 3 Patient reports of ‘what works well’

From: Patients’ experiences of seeking help for emotional concerns in primary care: doctor as drug, detective and collaborator

ThemeWhat Works WellQuotes
Doctor as DrugGPs can support patients by booking their follow up appointments for them.SU1: “Come back I’ve made you an appointment we’ll see you at ten o’clock next week”, that’s what you need [GPs to do].
Where it is not possible to have a long-term relationship, GPs can quickly build rapport in a number of ways, such as calling the patient by their name and not attending to a computer.SU3: he’s still charming and lovely and shakes hands and all the rest of it and calls me by my first name and smiles.
SU11: [the computer] is a huge distraction when you just want to have a therapeutic supportive conversation .
Doctor as Detective and ValidatorGive an explicit verbal acknowledgement of the patients’ emotional problems.SU13: you need someone to understand you and say “I recognise what you’re going through it sounds like hell.”
Work with the patient to help them understand what is happening to them.SU2: I think the first [consultation] needs to be something just to help people understand what exactly it is that’s happening to them because it’s alien.
Doctor as CollaboratorMake self-referral phone calls to Improving Access to Psychological Therapy for patients who feel unable.SU11: I would have appreciated it if someone had actually picked up the phone and called [local depression and anxiety service] for me.
Provide self-care resources for patient who feel able to engage with them.SU4: [I was given] a checklist of things to look at of things which I knew would help me if I started to go down and that included classic things like exercise getting out with mother nature.
Share information about treatment options, side effects to help patients engage, but present resources sensitively.SU10: basic information on the mental health services, what is the treatment for your particular condition, how long is the waiting list, what do you do on that period on the waiting list when don’t have any support. Those would be useful things
SU1: it’s how they present that to you … [GPs] have to say “this is a bit of information for you when you’re feeling like it have a read through”.