Care of long-term mentally ill patients by British general practitioners.
Burns T., Kendrick T.
In the United Kingdom, patients gain access to psychiatric care through general practitioners (GPs). The first of three studies conducted to assess the role of GPs in managing patients with long-term mental illness found that such patients were unevenly distributed in general practices and that GPs preferred to care for them in collaboration with psychiatric specialists. A more detailed study of 16 general practices yielded information on characteristics and care of long-term mentally ill patients, including a high rate of GP consultations for them. A third, controlled study examined the impact of teaching GPs to provide a structured assessment of long-term mentally ill patients every six months; after the intervention, only a small number of patients actually received such assessments.