Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2012 Sep;9(3):201-9.

Communication and Mental Health in General Practice: Physicians' Self-Perceived Learning Needs and Self-Efficacy

Free PMC article

Communication and Mental Health in General Practice: Physicians' Self-Perceived Learning Needs and Self-Efficacy

Tonje L Stensrud et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article


Background General practitioners (GPs) often see patients presenting with mental health problems, but their training regarding mental health treatment varies. GPs' communication skills are of particular importance in these consultations, and communication skills training of GPs has been found to improve patients' mental health. To tailor a communication skills training by basing it on GPs' learning needs and self-efficacy, thereby maximising learning, we conducted a questionnaire study. Objective To measure GPs' self-perceived needs regarding communication with and treatment of mental health patients. Methods GPs in training for specialist general practice were given a questionnaire on communication and mental health in general practice. The questionnaire measured prevalence, referring practices, self-efficacy and self-perceived learning need regarding mental health treatment and communication skills, as well as interest in attending training. Results A majority of GPs in our sample was interested in training on communication skills and mental health treatment. However, they reported moderate learning needs and high confidence on the different measures. GPs reported highest learning needs regarding specific communication skills and treatment of the most common mental health problems. At the same time, they reported highest self-efficacy in treating the same disorders. They also reported high confidence in communication skills. Conclusion Despite being confident, GPs in this sample recognise the need for specific skills in consultations with patients with mental health problems, but may underestimate the importance of general communication skills. These results are informative when designing training for GPs in communication and mental health.

Keywords: communication; general practice; mental health.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

LinkOut - more resources