Acceptability of a guided self-help mental health intervention in general practice


Background. People with subthreshold mental health syndromes are common in general practice and represent an important morbidity and disability burden. Management options are currently limited. We examined the acceptability of a novel ultra-brief guided self-help intervention designed specifically for use in this setting. Objective. To assess clinician and patient satisfaction with an ultra-brief guided self-help intervention to address subthreshold mental health syndromes in the primary care setting. Methods. Consenting patients were given the ultra-brief intervention in a series of three 15- to 30-minute coaching sessions over a 5-week period. Design: survey interview of clinician and patient satisfaction with and acceptability of the intervention. Setting: general practices in Wellington, New Zealand. Main outcome measure: clinician and patient acceptability of the intervention was assessed by survey questionnaire at 3 months. Baseline and follow-up mental health status assessments were undertaken using the Kessler-10 measure of psychological distress. Results. Six clinicians recruited 19 patient participants, 16 of whom completed the intervention. Based on questionnaire feedback, clinician and patient satisfaction ratings were very positive. However, clinicians expressed a concern that the length of the sessions was sometimes inadequate. The psychological well-being of the patients, as measured by the Kessler-10, was also significantly improved post-intervention. Conclusion. The intervention appeared to improve the psychological well-being of the patients and was regarded positively by both clinicians and patient participants. Further testing of the efficacy of the intervention on a larger sample with a randomized controlled trial study design is warranted.

Collings, S; Mathieson, F; Dowell, A; Stanley, J; Jenkin, G; Goodyear-Smith, F; Hatcher, S
Family Practice 29 (1): 43-49 Feb 2012