Recognition of physical and psychological symptoms--no influence of GP demographic factors.
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AIM: To describe the relationship between general practitioner demographic factors and the recognition of psychological and physical symptoms in consultation. METHODS: A survey of a random sample of 70 GPs and their patients (n=3414) from the lower North Island of New Zealand. RESULTS: No relationship was found between GP personal and practice demographic characteristics and GP identification of psychological and physical symptoms. Patients were more likely not to present psychological symptoms (62%) than not present physical symptoms (5%) in consultation. Thirteen percent of GPs wanted more formal psychiatric training, 45% wanted more contact time in consultation, and 72% thought that cost was a barrier to patients attending. No significant relationship was found between these factors and GP detection of significant psychological symptoms in consultation. DISCUSSION: Personal and practice demographics of GPs may not predict their ability to detect physical and psychological symptoms. More research is needed to explore these findings which contradict previous work.
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