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Patient Educ Couns. 2007 Sep;68(1):29-32. Epub 2007 May 22.

The impact of informational interventions about cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome on GPs referral behavior.

Author information

1
Expert Centre Chronic Fatigue, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands. K.Scheeres@nkcv.umcn.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated the impact of an informational intervention among general practitioners (GPs) about a new treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in a mental health center (MHC). The outcome measures concerned GPs knowledge and attitudes towards CFS and their actual referrals of CFS patients to this new treatment setting.

METHODS:

Three hundred and one GPs, who all had received written information about CFS four times, and who partly had also visited an informational group session, completed a short questionnaire survey on CFS knowledge and attitudes. Referral data were obtained from the mental health center.

RESULTS:

During 16 months 22% of all GPs in the concerning region had referred at least one CFS patient. Concerning knowledge and attitude, the survey results showed that 70% of the GPs had remembered the intervention's main message, namely the new treatment possibility. These informed GPs reported better knowledge and more positive attitudes towards CFS than the non-informed GPs, who had not seen and read the intervention's information.

CONCLUSION:

This study showed that disseminating written materials can be a useful method for stimulating GPs to refer CFS patients for CBT.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

In future implementation projects concerning CBT for CFS (or other 'new' treatments for a disputed illness) in a MHC or other institution, the informational intervention evaluated here can be a suitable and efficient method to inform GPs and let them refer patients.

PMID:
17521842
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2007.04.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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