Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. (2023). 12, 100489. SIEC No: 20230589
Background Active exploration of suicidal thoughts in the general practice has the potential to prevent suicides. Yet, little is known about patients’ experiences with suicide exploration during consultations with General Practitioners (GPs). This study aimed to gain insights into their experiences of these consultations. Methods Between March 2019 and March 2020, primary care professionals from Dutch sentinel GP practices were asked to invite eligible patients who consulted for depression or depressive feelings to complete a questionnaire about their experiences with the consultation. In 27 GP practices, a feature was included in the GP system that prompted a pop up screen when eligible patients consulted the GP, which provided data about the recruitment process. Results In one year, 521 patients consulted the 27 GP practices for depression related complaints. Hundred (19%) patients where invited by the GP, of which 23 (n = 23%) completed the questionnaire. Recruiting patients through GPs was the most important obstacle in this study; they invited only 1 out of five patients, mostly because of logistic and clinical reasons. The main reason patients declined to participate was simply no interest in the study. Limitations Because of the fragility of consultations and logistical complications, this study failed in rcruiting sufficient participants. Conclusions Capturing patients’ experiences and satisfaction with suicide prevention in primary care by recruiting them through GPs was a bridge too far. Future studies are recommended to better involve GPs into the research process and consider their workload or use alternative recruitment methods, and to combine multiple strategies.