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Psychol Med. 1994 Feb;24(1):113-9.

GP consultation as a factor in the low rate of mental health service use by Asians.

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  • 1Willesden Centre for Psychological Treatment, Royal London Hospital Trust.


Patients attending five Health Centres in areas of NW London with a high Asian population were asked to complete a questionnaire screening for non-psychotic psychiatric illness and to state why they had come to see their doctor. The GPs were also asked to rate the purpose of the consultation for those patients who scored above the cut-off point on the questionnaire. The screening questionnaire revealed equivalent rates of non-psychotic psychiatric morbidity in the White and Asian samples and no differences in the way their symptoms were presented. The differences that did emerge showed that Asian patients scoring above the cut-off for psychiatric caseness were more likely to state that they were consulting their GP about a physical problem and GPs were more likely to identify psychiatric morbidity in White than Asian patients who exceeded the cut-off threshold. The results suggest the possibility of an interaction between the ways in which patients experience and communicate psychological distress, their ethnic origin, and their GP's mode of responding.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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