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Attitudes and behaviour towards psychotropic drug prescribing in Swedish primary care: a questionnaire study

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare S. A. Svensson
Tove Hedenrud
Susanna Maria Wallerstedt
Publicerad i Bmc Family Practice
Volym 20
ISSN 1471-2296
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för farmakologi
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12875-018-0885-...
Ämnesord Prescribing, Psychotropic drugs, Primary health care, Questionnaire, gps, benzodiazepines, prescription, association, register, cost, General & Internal Medicine
Ämneskategorier Klinisk medicin

Sammanfattning

BackgroundThe prescribing of psychotropic drugs, i.e. antidepressants, sedatives (anxiolytics, hypnotics), and antipsychotics is considerable and a large proportion is prescribed by general practitioners (GPs). There are concerns about dependency and medicalisation, and treatment decisions in psychiatry may appear arbitrary. Increased knowledge of GPs' opinions on the prescribing of psychotropics may lead to more rational use of these drugs. We aimed to quantify GPs' attitudes, beliefs and behaviour towards various aspects of psychotropic drug prescribing.MethodsA questionnaire was distributed to physicians in all 199 GP practices in Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden. The questions concerned determinants of psychotropic drug prescribing that had been identified in a previous, qualitative study.ResultsQuestionnaires from 516 physicians (64% of whom were specialists in family medicine, 21% interns in family medicine, 15% others) at 152 GP practices (59% of which were state owned, 72% in an urban area, with a median of 7808 registered patients) were returned (estimated response rate: 48%). A majority - 62% - of GPs found it easier to start prescribing psychotropic drugs than to stop (95% confidence interval, 57%, 66%) vs. 8% (6%, 10%). Most GPs considered psychotherapy more suitable than psychotropic drugs in cases of mild psychiatric disease: 81% (77%, 84%) vs. 4% (3%, 6%). The problems treated with psychotropic drugs were considered to be mostly socioeconomic, or mostly medical, by similar proportions of physicians: 38% (34%, 42%) vs. 40% (36%, 45%). GPs were on average satisfied with their levels of antidepressant and sedative prescribing in relation to medical needs. More GPs regarded their prescribing of antipsychotics as being too low rather than too high: 33% (28%, 39%) vs. 7% (4%, 10%).ConclusionsThis study illustrates the complexities of psychiatric drug treatment in primary care and identifies potential drivers of increased prescribing of psychotropics. The manifold factors, medical and non-medical, that affect prescribing decisions may explain a sense of arbitrariness surrounding psychotropic drug treatment. This notwithstanding, GPs seem mostly content with their prescribing.

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