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Title: Health service users help-seeking decisions in primary healthcare : a health psychology approach
Author: Davies, Gareth Rees
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 9115
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Bangor
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2009
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Effective decision making about when to seek help and with whom by patients who experience health-related symptoms is an issue for the health service. This thesis examines some of the factors associated with this issue from a number of perspectives. Largely neglected in the research, the effectiveness of everyday health helpseeking decisions may have important consequences for patients making those decisions. With 291 million consultations (OHE, 2005) made with general practitioners (GPs) each year, even a small minority of ineffective help-seeking decisions may have a substantial impact on the use of limited resources. The day-to-day health help-seeking behaviour of normally healthy health service users (HSUs) has been largely ignored by researchers while an extensive body of literature exists examining the behaviour of specific patient cohorts, patients with specific morbidities and the behaviour of patients seeking help from specific service providers. Literature searches did not reveal any definitional parameters that might describe effective and indeed, ineffective day-to-day help-seeking behaviour which is somewhat surprising given the potentially vast scale of ineffectively made help-seeking decisions. Not surprisingly, given the lack of definitional parameters, tools for measuring the scale of this issue do not exist. Examination of the effectiveness of help-seeking decisions in this thesis is an inclusive, rather than exclusive, exercise. Issues about the effectiveness of help-seeking decisions transcend patient populations and boundaries between different sectors of self referral health services. The vast majority of research in help-seeking behaviour to date has however focused on either specific patient cohorts or specific health services, excluding the majority of help seekers who do not fall into those discrete categories. Research, in this thesis, aims to be inclusive rather than exclusive in its consideration of the day-to-day help-seeking and consultation-seeking decisions. Acknowledging the work done in these specialised help-seeking domains, the research presented here aims to take a more holistic approach to help and consultation-seeking decisions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available