Entering psychological treatment: Decision-making factors for GPs and service users

D. Pilgrim, A. Rogers, S. Clarke, W. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines patient and referrer decision-making factors surrounding entry to psychological treatment in a primary care setting. Drawing on qualitative data generated by a case study of patients and general practitioners (GPs), the help seeking concerns of patients and frameworks of understanding of their referrers are compared and contrasted. The accounts of patients reveal a complex process of access which operates in a unique biographical context. The latter includes expectations and experience of counselling, the timing of help seeking, triggers to help seeking, lay problem formulation, the perceived adequacy of GPs and self-care strategies. The analysis presented suggests that negotiations for help seeking to ameliorate psychological distress in a primary care setting reflect both objective processes and subjective attributions about these processes from the two parties studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Decision-making
  • Primary care
  • Psychological treatment
  • Self-care


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