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. 2008 Dec;5(4):203-12.

The Needs of Primary Care Mental Health Service Users: A Q-sort Study

Free PMC article

The Needs of Primary Care Mental Health Service Users: A Q-sort Study

Mark Papworth et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article


Background Within scientific and policy literature, the broader needs and preferences of the service user are usually described as being relatively homogenous for any particular condition. Additionally, despite common adult mental health problems being a huge burden to primary care services, there has been little research into the client's perspective of their needs regarding such difficulties. The aim of this research was thus to uncover the issues and preferences for this sample.Method The attitudes of 28 service users were explored through use of a Q-methodology approach. This procedure involves statistical analysis of the order that participants rank pertinent statements associated with the area of study.Results Five independent factors (clusters of preferences) were identified. These differed over issues associated with: relationships with service providers, access/barriers associated with services, information provision, stigma, choices associated with therapy and the care pathway, medication and complementary approaches, as well as social support.Discussion The study suggests that differing individual needs exist within diagnostic categories which, unless considered, may impede service engagement. Issues associated with the implications for service delivery for these differing clusters of perceived needs and viewpoints are outlined.

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