Impact of First Contact with Mental Health Services: The Patient Perspective

Poster A51, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Joaquim Gago1, Daniel Neto2, Carla Spinola2; 1NOVA Medical School Lisbon, 2Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental

Introduction: patients with psychotic disorders often refer the first contact with mental health services (MHS) as outstanding in their lives. However the patient perspective regarding this contact has scarce references in the literature. Objectives: a better understanding of how patients with first psychotic episode lived the first contact with MHS and the impact of this contact. Methods: we did a cross-sectional study with patients from our hospital in Lisbon. We selected patients who had the first contact with MHS in the last 2 years and had the diagnosis of psychotic disorder. A panel of experts with collaboration of patients elaborated the questionnaire. Results: we interviewed 43 patients, 32 men and 11 female, with mean age of 25 years, 93% were observed in the emergency department and 77% were admitted. In 70% the family participated in the assessment and in 10% the family were interviewed alone without the patient. 15% felt they were observed without privacy. After the first contact, 40% felt other people treated them in a different way. In 1-5 scale, the items mean score was: “help received” 3.8, “felt informed” 3.8, “felt understood” 3.8, “treated with courtesy” 4.2, “affected future contacts” 4.3, “opinion matters” 3.9 and “family had support” 3.9. Conclusions: the first contact with MHS had a significant impact for patients, for the subsequent contacts and for their future relationship with the professionals. Patients perspective of this contact should be assessed in following appointments and in certain cases, target of therapy.

Topic Area: Ethical Issues

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