The clinical behaviour of General Practitioners (GPs) can best be influenced by identifying their incitements and barriers in the first place. The purpose of this paper was to describe a model for the outreach visits, in which the purpose was to facilitate and evaluate the desired changes in the clinical behaviour of the GPs. We demonstrate the usefulness and workability of the model as a tool to be used in future implementations.
A total of 41 GPs in the Counties of Aarhus and Vejle participated in the spring of 2000 in an advanced educational programme about how to diagnose and treat patients with functional disorders. All participating GPs received an invitation for a six-month follow-up visit. The purpose of the follow-up visit was to facilitate and evaluate their educational benefits and experience in using psychiatric rating scales. The strategy of the visit was to structure the dialogue with reference to identifying incitements and barriers and to emphasize their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in connection with the change of their clinical behaviour.
Thirty-eight (93%) of the GPs participated in the follow-up outreach visits. The chosen strategy proved to be useful in primary care settings. We identified several areas in which the motivation of the GPs and their possibilities to implement the desired behavioural changes could be strengthened.
The results suggest that the incitements and barriers of the GPs to change their clinical behaviour can be identified using the strategy described. We suggest that the strategy should form part of the development and evaluation of outreach visits in Denmark.
The study aimed to describe the postgraduate training of the general practitioners (GPs) in communication and psychiatric counselling.
GPs in Aarhus County, Denmark, received a mailed questionnaire about psychiatric hospital training, participation in courses and Balint groups (psychiatric supervision), and their need for further training.
The questionnaire was returned by 320 (74.4%) GPs. Almost all GPs had received some kind of postgraduate training although to a very varying extent. Almost half had taken courses of more than three days' duration, and half were members of a psychiatric supervision group. Two-thirds of the GPs thought they needed further training. The need was independent of the GP's evaluation of his/her own psychiatric education.