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Treatment resistant depression in primary care: Co-constructing difficult encounters

McPherson, S and Byng, R and Oxley, D (2014) 'Treatment resistant depression in primary care: Co-constructing difficult encounters.' Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 18 (3). pp. 261-278. ISSN 1363-4593

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Many patients with depression do not recover despite medication or therapy. Individuals with treatment resistant depression often have co-morbid anxiety, personality difficulties and drug or alcohol misuse and have been characterised as difficult, heartsink or problem personalities by general practitioners. Yet critical studies of interaction in medical settings suggest that the context may have a role in constructing the patient. A total of 12 audio-recorded routine consultations were analysed following guidelines for qualitative analysis of medical discourse. The interpretation focused on ways in which the context and structure of primary care consultations in a UK setting construct difficult encounters, which may lead to patients with treatment resistant depression being seen as difficult to manage in various ways. Three overarching observations were that presentation of multiple problems in multiple domains clash with the consultation format; that patients? atypically high level of activity in a time-limited setting prevents patient-centred work; that the question and answer format restricts multifaceted discussions of social and emotional problems, preventing shared understandings emerging. However, although interactions appear uneasy, they are repaired and may be moderately palliative. Suggestions are made for re-orienting general practitioner work with treatment resistant depression towards long-term goal setting outside of the traditional consultation structure in order to develop shared understandings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression; doctor-patient interaction; general practitioners; medical discourse; primary care; qualitative analysis; United Kingdom
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2014 12:00
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:29

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