Interprofessional collaboration to support patients with social problems in general practice-a qualitative focus group study


BACKGROUND: Social problems of patients such as family or work-related conflicts as well as financial difficulties affect the individual health situation and the treatment of diseases in general practice. General practitioners (GPs) would like to have direct access to professionals in social care services. In Germany, there are many different social care facilities for people with a wide range of social problems. As the social and health care systems hardly interact collaborations between social professionals (SPs) and GPs are rare exceptions. This study explored perspectives of GPs regarding their patients with social problems in combination with the perspectives of SPs. Aim of this study was to explore how a systematic interprofessional collaboration between GPs and SPs could be realised.

METHODS: We carried out a participatory sequential qualitative study design consisting of two focus groups with GPs, two with SPs and two mixed-professional focus groups with GPs and SPs. The focus groups were conducted with semi-structured moderating guidelines and analysed with a qualitative content analysis approach using inductive and deductive categories.

RESULTS: GPs view themselves as the first point of contact for their patients' social problems. For persistent social problems, they expressed a desire for support and SPs were willing to provide this. We developed a stepped care implementation model for a systematic cooperation consisting of nine collaboration strategies. These strategies included: index or website of social care services, referrals to the social care system, using flyers and posters of social care services, direct contact/hotline to local social care services, participation in meetings of social care facilities, involving physician assistants, external social care advice service in GP rooms, implementation in education and training and access to volunteers.

CONCLUSIONS: Our stepped care implementation model for a systematic cooperation of GPs and SPs could be a feasible need- and resource-oriented approach for the collaborative care of patients with social problems to improve their medical treatment in most western healthcare systems. GPs and SPs are ready to generate the necessary evidence for policy makers in high quality RCTs.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 04.07.2022

Anmerkungen des Dekanats

© 2022. The Author(s).

PubMed 35788186


Publikationen: SCORING: Beitrag in Fachzeitschrift/ZeitungSCORING: ZeitschriftenaufsatzForschungBegutachtung

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