[Perspectives of general practitioners on the role of patients' caregivers in the process of consultation and treatment]

Sante Publique. 2007 May-Jun;19(3):241-52. doi: 10.3917/spub.073.0241.
[Article in French]


The aim of this study is to describe, from the perspective of general practitioners, the role of relatives and caregivers who accompany a patient in their consultation and treatment processes. 435 general practitioners filled out two questionnaires: the first was self administered and the second described specific clinical situations and the possible role of the family caregiver in the case of a patient with Alzheimer's diseases, Parkinson's disease, depression, epilepsy, asthma, cardiovascular disease, or type II diabetes. General practitioners think that overall they offer satisfactory responses to relatives' requests and concerns regarding the disease itself and its treatment. However, they do not feel skilled or qualified enough to answer them with regard to administrative or social questions. The relative's role is for the most part, perceived as positive, and seems to contribute to the efficacy of the care provided. This description corresponds to a new trend in modern medical practice, dominated by the burden of chronic and disabling diseases which implies, and in some cases requires, the need to involve a relative's presence and on-going support.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Caregivers*
  • Community Participation
  • Depression / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Epilepsy / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Patient Care*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires