Supporting the psychosocial needs of patients in general practice: the role of a voluntary referral service

Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Jan;52(1):41-6. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(02)00247-1.


This qualitative study describes and analyses the key features of a practice based voluntary referral service called the Patient Support Service (PSS). This involved collecting interview data from 11 service users and 8 service providers, which was analysed using 'Framework,' a qualitative method of applied policy research. The study findings describe the PSS, its perceived effectiveness and barriers to service provision. Following this, a series of strategic recommendations for service development are presented. It is concluded that voluntary patient referral services, such as the PSS, broaden the referral options available for managing patients with psychosocial problems in primary care.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • England
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Professional Role
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Volunteers / organization & administration*