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The aim of this study was to assess barriers and facilitators in the pathways toward specialist care for eating disorders (EDs).
Eleven ED services located in seven European countries recruited patients with an ED. Clinicians administered an adapted version of the World Health Organization “Encounter Form,” a standardized tool to assess the pathways to care. The unadjusted overall time needed to access the ED unit was described using the Kaplan–Meier curve.
Four-hundred-nine patients were recruited. The median time between the onset of the current ED episode and the access to a specialized ED care was 2 years. Most of the participants did not directly access the specialist ED unit: primary “points of access” to care were mental health professionals and general practitioners. The involvement of different health professionals in the pathway, seeking help for general psychiatric symptoms, and lack of support from family members were associated with delayed access to ED units.
Educational programs aiming to promote early diagnosis and treatment for EDs should pay particular attention to general practitioners, in addition to mental health professionals, and family members to increase awareness of these illnesses and of their treatment initiation process.
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) are increasingly acknowledged as critical tools for enhancing patient-centred, value-based care. However, research is lacking on the impact of using standardized patient-reported indicators in acute psychiatric care. The aim of this study was to explore whether subjective well-being indicators (generic PROMs) are relevant for evaluating the quality of hospital care, distinct from measures of symptom improvement (disease-specific PROMs) and from PREMs.
Two hundred and forty-eight inpatients admitted to a psychiatric university hospital were included in the study between January and June 2021. Subjective well-being was assessed using standardized generic PROMs on well-being, symptom improvement was assessed using standardized disease-specific PROMs, and experience of care using PREMs. PROMs were completed at admission and discharge, PREMs were completed at discharge. Clinicians rated their experience of providing treatment using adapted PREMs items.
Change in subjective well-being (PROMs) at discharge was significantly (p < 0.001), but moderately (r2 = 28.5%), correlated to improvement in symptom outcomes, and weakly correlated to experience of care (PREMs) (r2 = 11.0%), the latter being weakly explained by symptom changes (r2 = 6.9%). Patients and clinicians assessed the experience of care differently.
This study supports the case for routinely measuring patients’ subjective well-being to better capture the unmet needs of patients undergoing psychiatric hospital treatment, and the use of standardized patient-reported measures as key indicators of high quality of care across mental health services.
While shared clinical decision-making (SDM) is the preferred approach to decision-making in mental health care, its implementation in everyday clinical practice is still insufficient. The European Psychiatric Association undertook a study aiming to gather data on the clinical decision-making style preferences of psychiatrists working in Europe.
We conducted a cross-sectional online survey involving a sample of 751 psychiatrists and psychiatry specialist trainees from 38 European countries in 2021, using the Clinical Decision-Making Style – Staff questionnaire and a set of questions regarding clinicians’ expertise, training, and practice.
SDM was the preferred decision-making style across all European regions ([central and eastern Europe, CEE], northern and western Europe [NWE], and southern Europe [SE]), with an average of 73% of clinical decisions being rated as SDM. However, we found significant differences in non-SDM decision-making styles: participants working in NWE countries more often prefer shared and active decision-making styles rather than passive styles when compared to other European regions, especially to the CEE. Additionally, psychiatry specialist trainees (compared to psychiatrists), those working mainly with outpatients (compared to those working mainly with inpatients) and those working in community mental health services/public services (compared to mixed and private settings) have a significantly lower preference for passive decision-making style.
The preferences for SDM styles among European psychiatrists are generally similar. However, the identified differences in the preferences for non-SDM styles across the regions call for more dialogue and educational efforts to harmonize practice across Europe.
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