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The communication of the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Focus group findings on psychiatrists' point of view

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2011

Monica Paccaloni*
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Psichiatria e Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Verona
Michela Rimondini
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Psichiatria e Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Verona
Tecla Pozzan
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Psichiatria e Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Verona
Christa Zimmermann
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Psichiatria e Psicologia Clinica, Università di Verona, Verona
*
Address for correspondence: Dr.ssa M. Rimondini, Dipartimento di Medicina e Sanità Pubblica, Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Università di Verona, P.le L.A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona. Fax: +39-045-585871 E-mail: michela.rimondini@univr.it

Summary

Aims – Evidence from the literature show that patients affected by psychosis rarely are informed about their diagnosis and/or involved in the decision making process regarding the therapeutic program. The aim of the present study is to investigate psychiatrists' clinical experiences, beliefs and attitudes towards communicating the diagnosis to patients affected by psychosis. Method – Three focus groups were conducted with 28 psychiatrists of different levels of expertise (10 senior psychiatrists and 18 psychiatrists in training), all working at the South-Verona Community-based Mental Health Service. The group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed. The authors derived different thematic categories which were used by two raters to classify all contributions of the psychiatrists. Results – The main themes of interest which emerged were: experience with the communication of the diagnosis of psychosis and main communication strategies used; obstacles and personal difficulties in giving such information. Conclusions – In the psychiatric setting the disclosure of the diagnosis of psychosis implies different clinical and ethical issues and is felt as highly problematic. These findings suggest a need of psychiatrists to involve the psychotic patient in the information giving process in order to learn his/her informative needs which are the starting point for individually tailored information.

The authors have no potential conflict of interest related to the subject of the paper. No economic support has been received for this study.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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References

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