Development of an Introductory Seminar to help utilize patients’ waiting time at a MHC - A qualitative study of the user perspective
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Background:In Norway, mental health disorders are the second highest cause of people on disability pension and the highest cause of lost working years. Due to this continuous increase in the number of psychiatric patients, MHCs struggle to meet demand, thereby, resulting in long waiting times for the treatment. This study tries to find what information is necessary for patients to cope with their problems while waiting for the actual treatment to start. It will be done by developing a pre-therapy introductory seminar, aimed at providing patients with the relevant information and prepare them for active participation in the treatment. Method:A qualitative method with semi-structured individual interviews was applied in this study. Participants were strategically chosen in relation to the research question and data was collected by interviewing 10 patients in two roundsof interviews at Trondheim and Haugesund, respectively. Two rounds of interviews were conducted for achieving saturation of data and to gain better insight information pertaining to the research question. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed and were analyzed in four steps: (a) from raw data to topics (b) from topics to codes (c) from codes to sense-carrying units (condensation) and (d) from condensation to descriptions. Results: Following three main themes are highlighted in results: 1. First topic describes why participants want information or why they think information is necessary during waiting time. Participants feltthat information during the waiting time will lead to better control over their own ailments with more insights and better understanding of their situations 2. The second topic describes how information should be conveyed or how the introductory seminar should be organized. Participants preferred oral information than written and the information should be presented andexhibited in such a way that they can make optimal use of the seminar. The participants also wanted information about the institution and the personnel 3. The third topic describes what information the participants want or in other words what should be the content of the introductory seminar. It was important for the participants to receive information about the mental health in general, the course of treatment, what types of treatment methods are available and how they could get these treatments. This information can make the treatmentchoice easier and will help them understand the benefits and side-effects of variousavailable treatment methods. The 3 main findings in this study corresponded largely with previous research and literature. In addition to this, most participants thought thatuser involvement is important and it is necessary to know how to be an active participant. Some of the participants wanted to know what they can do themselves and how and wanted to understand their patient rights at a MHC. Most participants also wanted to get information about various user organizations that can help them cope with their problems. Conclusions:This study shows that teaching / education is regarded as useful for patients waiting for their treatment at a MHC. This could increase patients' knowledge about making choices about their treatment and to be more activein their treatments. Most of the participants wanted information about mental healthdisorders or general mental problems, treatment methods and the outcomes. It was important that they had a role in their treatment, including wanting more knowledge with regards to user involvement. Also, the necessity of information about patient rights and user organizations emerged clearly from the participants during interviews.
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