'A really good GP': Engagement and satisfaction with general practice care of people with severe and persistent mental illness

Aust J Gen Pract. 2020 Jan-Feb;49(1-2):61-65. doi: 10.31128/AJGP-02-19-4854.


Background and objectives: People with severe and persistent mental illness have increased psychosocial and physical morbidity. This study sought to understand patient engagement and satisfaction with general practice.

Method: A survey study of people attending community mental health clinics included Likert scale items about general practice engagement, satisfaction, access enablers and attendance challenges.

Results: Of 82 respondents, 85% had a regular general practitioner (GP), and 99% had visited a GP at least once in the past 12 months (32% had visited a GP >10 times). Eighty-eight per cent of respondents were satisfied with their current GP's care. Significantly more respondents were satisfied with the GP's focus on their physical than their mental health concerns (95% versus 76% respectively, P <0.05). Bulk billing, timely appointments and proximity were enablers of attendance for most respondents. The majority of participants disagreed that making, keeping or waiting for GP appointments was difficult.

Discussion: Closer collaboration with treating psychiatrists and case managers may increase GP engagement with patients' mental healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • General Practice / methods
  • General Practice / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires