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Psychol Health Med. 2008 May;13(3):291-302. doi: 10.1080/13548500701487705.

Relieved after GP's consultation? Change in the complaint-related worry of young adult patients.

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Primary Health Care Centre in Forssa, Forssa, Finland.


Patients tend to get relieved during a general practitioner's (GP's) consultation, but some patients remain worried. This study aimed to explore the change in worry and to identify factors associated with non-worry, relief and persistent worry by interviewing GPs' patients before and after a consultation. Patients aged 18-39 years consulting their doctor because of a somatic complaint were interviewed about their complaint-related worry, complaint characteristics and their expectations and experiences concerning the consultation. They completed questionnaires about general illness worry (IWS) and psychiatric symptoms (SCL-90). The GPs assessed the medical severity of each complaint and reported whether the complaint was medically explained. Persistently worried patients reported more anxiety and thoughts that something was seriously wrong in their body. They expected more often medical examinations, were less certain about what was wrong with them and considered their complaint more severe than the other patients, even though its medical severity did not differ from that of the other patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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