[Approaching psychological problems like a general practitioner]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 161, 0, (2017), article D1474
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
An important cause of the high prescription levels of psychotropic medication for psychological symptoms is that these symptoms are assessed according to the same model as applied for physical symptoms, the disease model. This has led to a one-sided medical approach to psychological symptoms. A person-centred approach offers an alternative; the positive aspects of the disease-centred approach are retained and attention for the patient and his/her context become the central focal point for the general practitioner. Important elements of the person-centred approach are empathy, a good doctor-patient relationship, a shared approach to problem definition and understanding of the patient's problem, development of a therapeutic alliance, and a focus on the patient's hopes and expectations. If additional primary care-based treatment by mental health practice nurses is indicated, this model could be suitable since it is based on patients' strengths and focuses on personal growth rather than reduction of symptoms.
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